Private View: Brent Scholz

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Brent Scholz
Brent Scholz

It's February, which means that Valentine's Day is upon us. Need a romantic idea for you and your sweetie? Here's a tip: Nothing makes for a more memorable date than a dozen red roses, a box of fancy chocolates and some hot pharma ads.

(Just kidding.)

It is the month of love, however, and one of the best expressions of love is a smile. And in my opinion, it's also one of the best expressions of a good ad. 

A smile doesn't always have to be triggered by an attempt at humor. It can be born of nostalgia or cleverness or encouragement or even a hint of naughtiness. Anything that helps the reader turn a frown upside down is a great incentive to read more and it puts some personality behind your brand. Think about it in real-life terms. Whether you catch a random smile from a stranger on the street, from a coworker in the hallway or from your spouse of 40 years, it has a way of sticking with you and brightening your day. 

Advertising works the same way—anything that can tap into human emotion (especially a positive one) can do wonders. Here are six ads that made me smile for different reasons. 

Enjoy—I hope they do the same for you.


I always laugh out loud whenever I read the “tastes awful” slogan. Wouldn't it be great if everything in life shot it straight like this? So funny. I even like the decidedly retro layout of the ad, reminiscent of '60s-era advertising. 

Milk Life

I'm a writer by background, but like many writers I think visually first. This is an ad that translates perfectly to any language. Kudos to the original creative team who thought of the milk mustache way back when, as this tireless campaign has stood the test of time.

Pepcid Complete

Simple formula: Start with a moment of truth, then bring it to life with great casting and a fantastic photo shoot. I find myself bouncing around the faces, then glancing down at the copy, then back to the scene above. Don't we all have an uncle like this?

Enfamil Reguline

Oh man, any parent of a young one can relate to this.
I love the decision to go with this “angle” for the
visual, and I also love the stream-of-consciousness style the headline is written
in. It's funny because it's true (and about as unromantic as you can get).

Water Pik

One effective way to do humor is to put a common occurrence into an extreme situation. In this case, a little white lie is on trial in front of a judge. It's a great way to get the reader to think about tooth and gum health rather than admonishing them for not flossing.

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