Thursday, April 14, 2016

“Irritabelle,” The Viberzi Irritable Sidekick

I've just added a new slide to my "Gallery of Drug Advertising Mascots" PPT presentation: "Irritabelle," the Viderzi “irritable (bowel) sidekick.” Viberzi is a new drug, approved for the treatment of IBS-D (Irritable Bowel Syndrome With Diarrhea).

The character is played by a real person dressed in a flesh-colored body suit imprinted with both large and small intestines. The ad was created by Arnold Worldwide for Allergan, a company I've written about in the past (see here).

Talk about irritable! Irritabelle enjoys nothing more than preventing her alter-ego IBS-D sufferer (no name given) from enjoying her life. In comparison, Xifaxan’s “Bubble Guy” is a joy.

Poor IBS-D sufferer can't go out tonight because of abdominal pain brought to life by Irritabelle - a "kooky colon" who makes life difficult for her owner/alter-ego. "Who makes the decisions around here?", Irritable asks her alter-ego and answers "It's me!"

It's amazing how many buzzwords creative ad directors use to describe their work. Click on "Read more" for some insights by Arnold executive creative director Gary Scheiner.

  • "By creating a manifestation of IBS-D symptoms using a real person, we were able to show the changing dynamics of their relationship [to the condition] more effectively and meaningfully."
  • "We wanted this work to be highly relatable and effective in engaging patients, and to motivate them to take action." 
  • "We intentionally parodied some of the category conventions like walking on the beach or riding bikes... Done with Irritabelle, those activities become fresh and memorable."
Source: "Ad of the Day: Meet Irritabelle, Your Irritable Bowel Sidekick, in Campy Ads for Viberzi"

View the commercial inserted below and judge for yourself how "effective," "meaningful," "relatable," "memorable," and "effective" it is.

At least  Ilana Becker, the actress who portrays Irritabelle in the ads, has a real world viewpoint: "I wanted this job from the moment I laid eyes on the copy. I remember thinking how much fun it would be to be able to bring Irritabelle to life."


  1. Boy, you really got this one wrong. Don't you and the idiots a Arnold Worldwide realize the Miss Alter Ego IBS has her bowel suit on inside out for the first take (top picture) and finally gets it right in the second take.

    1. Dude, that's a reflection in the bathroom mirror!

    2. Anonymous7:09 PM

      It appears that the editor reversed the photo, not realizing the anatomical repercussions.

  2. Anonymous8:59 PM

    i thought llana was digitally distorted

  3. Anonymous11:26 AM

    Actress is hysterically funny!Great concept also.

  4. My doctor gave me Viberzi samples because I wanted to get off of Dilaudid for the pain and diarrhea caused from what doctors have called the "worst case of Dumping Syndrome they've ever seen". It worked. Stopping Dilaudid was surprisingly easy--Thank you! Viberzi would have been the PERFECT solution if it weren't for 3 things: 1. The EXTREME gas and pain from the gas. 2. The social awkwardness my "Gas Bombs" that I uncontrollably dropped (they could clear a city block). 3. The cost (I am uninsured since I lost my job due to my condition). I had to stop Viberzi and go back to Codiene and Occasional Dilaudid due to the cost. If there would be some way to resolve those two issues, I would love to go back to Viberzi!

  5. Anonymous1:16 AM

    The whole thing totally creeps me out!! Not funny, would not want to take this drug even if my dr recommended it. Creepy, irritating

    1. That's because you dont know what its like to have this condition

  6. Anonymous6:58 PM

    Is the viberzi mascot a real female or a little something else? Either way, I love "it." Simy adorable!

  7. Anonymous11:20 AM

    I agree creepy & irritating and she looks like Kathy Griffin!! Distasteful to say the least.


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