The most unintentionally distracting commercial on televisions is for the blood thinner, Xarelto. The problem is that there is no consensus on how to pronounce the name of the product. Now, you might accept that there would be some confusion among the general public, but not from the pitchmen on the TV commercial itself!

The first of two commercial produced for Xarelto, featured golfing great Arnold Palmer, comedian Kevin Neelan and racer driver Brian Vickers. Throughout the commercial, they keep calling it: Zuh-RALL-toe, yet the announcer says: Zuh-RELL-toe. Is it a big deal? Only in that it is extremely distracting. And when you are distracted, you are not paying attention to the well-crafted message on the very expensive television commercial.

It’s like when Obama administration reps insists on clinging to the the term “ISIL” while everyone in the newmedia calls it “ISIS.” Even in the same interview, they seem to be sparring back and forth pretending that the other person didn’t just call it something different. “So, is ISIS a significant threat today?”  “We believe that ISIL can be contained.” And on and on it goes.

In the newest version of the Xarelto TV spot, basketball great Chris Bosh has been added to the three other celebs, and clearly someone from Johnson & Johnson sent a message down the line that the product is to be pronounced “Zuh-RELL-toe.” The problem is that the director forgot to remind the talent throughout the multi-day, on-location shoot, so the stars go back and forth pronouncing and then mispronouncing the product name. With four major stars, they clearly couldn’t go back and re-shoot the segments, so they just left all the screw-ups in hoping we wouldn’t notice. the problem is that we don’t notice anything else!

Of course, none of this has anything to do with the potential health benefits of this pharmaceutical. Strong strategy, failed execution — twice! Fire the director. Better yet, pull the ad an cut your losses.

David Avrin, CSP speaks internationally on strategic business marketing and branding. He helps organizations, entrepreneurs, sales professionals,  employees and business owners gain meaningful competitive advantage. He is also the author of the popular book: It’s Not Who You Know, It’s Who Knows You! Watch a preview video at


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s