Pills of Orthodox Dew

March 23, 2010

Anyone who spent some time watching television from Hong Kong before 2000 would probably at some point encounter a TV ad for 喇叭牌正露丸, or Trumpet Brand Orthodox Dew Pills. Featuring trumpet-led marching band music and catchy advertising jingles mixed with Cantonese slang describing stomachaches that words actually cannot express it’s a pretty addictive marketing campaign. At some point they switched to smooth elevator music hip hop, which, frankly, is a whole lot less addictive.

These pills are marketed as cures for diarrhea and stomachaches. I really don’t know nothing about them besides the fact that they smell kinda funny and are supposedly sugar coated. The TV claimed they worked but I never really tried.

The name 喇叭牌正露丸 can be dissected into the brand (喇叭牌 means trumpet brand—we’ll explore this term in another post on musical instruments at some point) and the actual product name. The characters 正露丸 translate to “orthodox/right”, “dew” and “pill”, respectively. There is a small pun here: in Cantonese 露 sounds the same as 路, which means “road”. 正路 means, obviously, “the right path” or maybe “the path of good” in more religious/metaphysical contexts. So these are also pills that send you to the right path which, according to the advertising jingles, is not towards the bathroom while clutching your stomach with both hands.


One Response to “Pills of Orthodox Dew”

  1. […] I think jazz, I think of trumpets. As I promised in a previous post on diarrhea medicine, let’s talk about trumpets. In that post I mentioned that 喇叭 is Chinese for trumpet. […]

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