AD/JUDICATED: Lysol Uses Animals to Be More Human


I am a protector. Ever since my twin boys were born a month premature, my husband and I have been doing our best to defend them from harm, both physical and emotional. They are eight now, and I have been constantly shielding them, rerouting them, making sure they get out on the sidewalk side of the car. At some point in the near future, it won’t make sense for a tiny Asian woman to be throwing her body in front of two grown teenage boys, but I’m pretty sure that’s what I’ll be doing.

This spot connected with an instinct in me that I have only known as a mother. Lysol takes a product benefit (killing germs) and elevates it to an emotional one (a parent’s role as fierce protector of our children). This well-crafted, magical commercial is a joy to watch. And using animals conveys a human attribute much more powerfully than a literal depiction. It turns out I can actually relate more to a bear, a vulture, an elephant — than another mom.

Different products connect with different aspects of our identities. Connecting with me simply as a “mom” doesn’t cut it. But as a mama bear rearing up to defend my child from a reckless driver? Hell yeah, that’s me. Lysol isn’t addressing the germaphobe in us, it’s connecting with the protector in us, as parents.

My only hang-up with this spot comes at the end, with the title card “Protect like a mother.” I feel like this idea is strongest when it connects with the universal protector quality in all of us as parents, beyond the mom label. Regardless, I’m giving this ad a 5 — Motivating. It strives for more and achieves it in a unique way that this mama bear finds inspiring.