Halls: a pep talk in every cough drop

It’s a TV commercial to define our time! The new HALLS ad pictures an obese multiracial menial worker restocking a Wal-mart frozen food aisle. And she’s in ill health, and her only recourse for medical care is a piece of hard candy. But forget soothing medicinal relief, these days the “Halls of Medicine” promises a “pep talk in every drop.” In this TV spot, the encouragement comes from a drill sergeant with the bedside manner of a Post-911 blimp-neck who addresses her as “Shorty.” He yells into his squat patient/plebe’s face, who by her welcome response must also be a military reservist, halls-menthol-lyptus-cough-drops urging, and I’ll paraphrase, to repress her symptoms and put on her “war face.” It may as well be a health insurance company pep talk repartee: suck it up.

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Eric Verlo

About Eric Verlo

On sabbatical
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28 Responses to Halls: a pep talk in every cough drop

  1. Avatar jonah says:

    yeah, I’ve noticed that.

    “Get back to work” handling food while you have either a bacterial or viral upper respiratory infection that’s no doubt contagious.

    It’s like the ones where the sufferer from the FLU goes in to a crowded office or gets on a crowded bus looking like a Troll…

    so he takes a flu “remedy” that masks the symptoms so he feels good enough to go into crowded environments and spread the contagion.


    The timing of it was absolutely perfect, it came out when Bird Flu had just been found in Alaskan wildfowl…. like those “Canada” geese we have all over Memorial Park right now.

  2. Avatar On a Clear Night You Can See Forever says:

    I think you’re both taking this a tad too seriously…I thought the commerical was funny and effective…notice how the drill instructor is not intensely yelling at her; rather he is ‘pepping’ her up and telling her that she can do this (making her feel better) what the drops are supposed to do — I also love how he randomly flies in & out..this is one of the better commercials I’ve seen in a while. LOL

  3. Yeah, and he’s “encouraging” her to work handling food while suffering from a contagious illness.

    You know, Corporate Monoliths like Wal-Mart actually dock your pay or fire you if you’re too sick to come to work, and demand you come to work and spread your contagion to the Paying Customers?

    The commercial you find amusing is just another symptom of a widespread Social Sickness.

    If your boss insists that you work while sick, especially handling food or dealing with large numbers of people in enclosed spaces, then he neither respects You nor The Customers who you (and he) are serving.

    “sir, would like a bag of Botulism with that?”

  4. Oh, and not if but WHEN the superbug flu hits America harder than it did in 1918, that “work even while sick” attitude is going to help it along just nicely.

    al Qa’eda doesn’t need to do a Bio-Terror attack on American Capitalism…

    American Capitalism is perfectly willing to do it to themselves.

  5. Avatar Dallas says:

    I just want to know what the song is in that commerical..

  6. Avatar On a Clear Night You Can See Forever says:

    hey, color me ignorant then…I tend not to look for ‘government conspiracies’ in every facet of life. I enjoy laughing and if that causes you to see me as just another ignorant america then so be it….NOW GIMME YOUR WAR FACE!

  7. Avatar jonah says:

    Not a Government conspiracy.

    Probably just a Freudian slip, because many people believe but don’t acknowledge that the Corporations own the Government.

    Pretty sad, actually, that it’s true.

    And, of course, the advertising is done by the same corporations who do the Recruitment Commercials where the Army wants you to send your CHILDREN into their Killing Machine.

    There’s a book you ought to read, interestingly the Pharmaceuticals industry plays a key role in the book, “Brave New World” by Aldous Huxley.

    Of course, the Corporations try to suppress it, calling it Pornography.

    Even though there’s not a single graphic or narrative description of any sex act in the whole book.

    And that Huxley didn’t really ever endorse any part of the society described in the book.

  8. Avatar Jay says:

    You people seriously need to find something more menial to do that bitch about the government. I LOVED this commercial, I felt like I knew the girl…”What? I’m Sick!!” DON’T CLEAR THAT THROAT!!! Jeez, I LOVE this commercial…makes me laugh every time I see it. Some of you must have wonderfully happy marriages…that is, if you’re even married ya balls of sunshine!

  9. Avatar Marie Walden says:

    Jay, it’s our mission here at NMT to suck the light out of every room.

  10. Eric Eric says:

    It looks like this commercial does define our times. Americans have no health insurance or unions, abusive bosses, dismal prospects, AND WE LOVE IT!

  11. Avatar Nixorbo says:

    Drill sergeant is an obvious reference to R. Lee Emery’s character in Full Metal Jacket.


  12. Avatar jonah says:

    I would apologize to people who find wage slavery, contagious diseases, militarism and other fairly nasty evil things to be humourous.

    I would if I were wrong.

    Amusement where it can be found, I guess, and some are more easily amused than others.

    You could go to a website dedicated to “Truly Tasteless Jokes” or even google for Cripple Jokes, (insert racial group here) Jokes or go to work for WalMart.

    It doesn’t bother you much that people will be preparing your food while sick, groovy.

    It doesn’t also bother you that somebody might literally be worked to death if required to work while sick, groovy.

    Nice of you to provide the rest of us with a bit of warning.

    you might as well wear a tee-shirt saying “I’m an asshole and you probably don’t want to spend a lot of time in my company”, that would be groovier still.

    On a related note, American Public Education seems to be deliberately sabotaged by Corporate Entities.

  13. Avatar C R says:

    I auditioned for these commercials a few months back. One of them is a security guard getting ready to faace a mob on Black Friday at Walmart. When we auditioned it was after the trampling in New York. I wonder if we’ll see that one soon.

  14. Avatar jonah says:

    of course I had to google it, because I was in the Air Force and not the Army, but the Taller Than His Victim Blatant “authority” Symbol…

    Was a MASTER… Sergeant.

    Demonstrate the Mastery of the Corporate Empire.

    Master – Slave relationship.

    People who’ve never done advertising might not realize exactly how powerful these symbols are.

    The people who do it for a living know.

    There was a thread a couple of months ago about the Edsel.

    And why exactly it FAILED in marketing.

    It wasn’t the awful name… nor was it an inferior product.

    It was well advanced for its slot in history.

    That wild ‘n’ crazy Aldous Huxley guy I keep mentioning, well, perhaps you should think of him as DR. Aldous Huxley.

    He wrote a sequel to Brave New World decades later.

    The ad gurus, they realize very well the value to their “craft” inherent in Symbolism.

    And with Pavlovian conditioning added in.

  15. Avatar jonah says:

    It also “demonstrates forcefully” several times an hour, in a format some find “amusing” the absolute mastery of the Military over civilians.

    In a world in which American Martial Law has now been officially imposed on three foreign nations, Afghanistan, Iraq, and (through the IDF Puppet StormTroopers) Gaza…

    With Unregulated Militia like BlackWater and now the IDF given the green light to massacre civilians with no questions asked,

    Such a symbol of Government “authority” over civilans is very important.

    Also Wal-Mart is currently using the resources of the Government to deny the workers the right to organize unions.

    The American Army is going to, once again, take sides with their Rich Masters against the workers.

  16. Avatar jonah says:

    The Ad industry pulls in Billions every month with strategies like this. The Very Rich and their Government Servants take it very seriously and demonstrate it in the most forceful manner they can… they spend beaucoup d’argent on it.

    That’s french, she mean “a whole lotta cash”

  17. Avatar Groove says:

    You guys read into this commercial waayyyyyyy to much. You need to relax.

    The commercial was funny. period.

  18. Avatar Gomer USMC says:

    anyone else notice that the actor playing the drill sergeant “Ryan” is a dead ringer for the drill sergeant Vince Carter from “Gomer Pyle USMC” 60s show starring Jim Nabors? This actor must be a his son or grandson, as even the voice is similar.

  19. Avatar Casey says:

    I think he looks just like Vince Carter! I wonder if it is CG or something??

  20. Avatar JT says:

    It’s liberal times we live in when people can’t take a joke as a joke and want to take “action” for every “cause” they find.

    What’s sad is that you completely miss the point but still have time to throw jabs and insults at the person in the commercial. Nice. Eric, you are an idiot.

  21. Avatar jonah says:

    And all the ChickenHawk Puke “conservatives” want to send OTHER people’s kids, after an appropriate amount of Brainwashing, to kill still other kids.

    So, whats the story, did you kill a few babies or do you just sit back and enjoy the show while others do it for you?

  22. Avatar Some Dude says:

    I noticed the last few times I saw the commercial the phrase “don’t clear that throat” has been edited out. Weird…?

  23. Hey, we teach people to resist brainwashing, at every level.

    And do it without resorting to brainwashing techniques on our part.

    I consider that to be a Very Good Thing.

    And my duty to God and to my fellow humans.

    We’re created to be Thinking Individuals, not Conditioned Targets for Marketing.

    Not “unquestioning Slaves to the Corporate and Military Death Machine”.

    God made us in His image and it’s our obligation to Him not to corrupt His image by transforming it into a Uniform with a former Human in it.

  24. I noticed the last few times I saw the commercial the phrase “don’t clear that throat” has been edited out. Weird…?

    Before and After focus groups.

    I’m surprised they didn’t catch the “Don’t” part of it before releasing the script.

    Negative word, any version of “No” is usually avoided, they mostly don’t even put it into another word like Notorious or Notice.

    It takes a little getting used to it.

    The more you learn, the more you spot,

    It’s like a continuous Upward Spiral of consciousness.

  25. Avatar wayne says:

    about the halls commercial, how can you find out who the actor and actress are?

  26. Avatar gimlet says:

    Not sure of the on-camera, but the voiceover at the end is and actor named Bill Lobley. He does REALLY funny videos on You Tube.
    The latest is on the Final Four! Check it out for a laugh!


  27. Avatar CactusHeart says:

    Wayne, I myself am asking the same question. A tip: do NOT ask Halls…I did, and their reply helped jack squat. They basically said “we do not know, nor would we even begin to know where to look”. The tracked the commercial back to the ad agency it came from, JWT. Good luck with that, as that agency happens to be an extremely massive company. Still waiting to hear back lol

  28. Avatar jim says:

    if anyone knows the name of the ad agency that is claiming to say that my idea and interlectual property ,a pep talk in every drop .please contact me thanks

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