Ad Review: The Fairy Exposition Mother

When I notice a trend that means the original creative idea has been beaten to a pulpy death. Today’s trend is the Fairy Exposition Mother.

You think you’re alone in your bathroom or laundry room, contemplating the darkness within your soul manifested into microscopic flaws. You stare into the abyss. Before it can stare back…


In a flurry of glitter and sequins your Fairy Exposition Mother magically appears, played by a semi-recognizable B-list star. Paranoia sets in. Was she here this whole time while your eyes were locked onto grass stains that reminded you of that summer by the lake? Your thoughts don’t matter because there can be no thoughts when Fairy Exposition Mother is there to wash away your ennui with a snappy list of product features that will minimize pores and soften scratchy sweaters.

The latest addition in this agitating trend is Proactiv’s “Towel Drop” spot featuring semi-recognizable movie star Olivia Munn. It’s the laziest and weakest of all these ads. Bold move, Proactiv, straying from the infomercial. The canned testimonial is repurposed into such limp lines as:

“You think that ordinary cleanser is enough to stop a breakout?!”

“Proactiv’s blahblahblah made-up science-y thing blahblah tag line!”

Then our protagonist’s towel drops to the floor. Olivia Munn has glimpsed a teen’s penis and another tree falls in the forest. There’s no purpose to this Fairy Exposition Mother’s presence other than to stand in for the Voice Over’s rote enumeration of the company’s mission statement.

Other semi-recognizable-actors-as-Fairy-Exposition-Mothers include Titus Burgess (beloved by me, but wasted here. I hope he’s making a mint) in a Downy spot and Angela Kinsey for Clairol.

The only ad where I’ve seen this work is in the Sparkle Towels spots where an actual fairy is a foil to burglars and tortured professors.

She’s showing how the product works on different surfaces in amusing and memorable fashion. I mean, the look on the professor’s face won me over, not least because I love bursting bubbles.

So here lies the Fairy Exposition Mother. May she rest in peace and never interrupt your introspective escapes during mundane chores.

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