Thank You, Bayer, for Berocca Hangover Pills

Thank You, Bayer, for Berocca Hangover Pills

A big thank you is in order for Bayer. The pharmaceutical company is bringing Berocca – a hangover cure popularized in Australia – to America. Aah, let the drinking begin…

Since the 1980s, drinkers in Australia and New Zealand have been fighting off hangovers using Berocca tablets. The effervescent drink contains a mix of B vitamins, zinc and vitamin C. It proved so popular that it spread to England, France, Korea and more, conquering hangovers one country at a time.

Now, Americans are finally able to try Berocca. While it’s never been advertised directly as a hangover cure, old television spots certainly hinted quite strongly as a cure.

A new spot, produced for American audiences, unfortunately misses the mark by a wide margin in almost every way conceivable. The spot starts with a relentlessly obnoxious loudmouth Joel McHale shouting his way through the entire 90 seconds, which grows very tiresome by the 15-second mark. I think Joel gives me the feeling of a hangover.

McHale plays a character named Brock Spedwell. Someone probably thought that name was funny. That someone was wrong. Spedwell is supposed to be “the world’s most motivational speaker,” which doesn’t make sense, seeing as his act appears to be some combination of a magic show and an infomercial.

Furthermore, all I learned from the painful minute-and-a-half video was that Berocca supports “mental sharpness” and “physical energy.” Those incredibly generic statements are just presented to the viewer at face value. I guess it’s up to us to figure the rest out.

Laura Pinkett, senior brand manager for Berocca, says that now is “the right time and the right moment” to bring the hangover remedy stateside. (I respectfully disagree – my college years were the right time and the right moment for this product.) While I’m not at all opposed to a means of minimizing the effects of a hangover, having Joel McHale scream at me for 90 seconds only makes my headache worse. I’m done with the pain across my temples.

Howard Davidson Arlington Massachusetts


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