"Fauxbama:" Obama look-alike used in Salonpas pain relief ads

An analgesic pain patch manufacturer is using a President Barack Obama look-alike or "Fauxbama" in their advertising.

One of the amateurly-produced ads for Hisamitsu Americas' Salonpas pain patch features the "Fauxbama" getting a "pain in the neck" from all of the stressful decisions he deals with on a daily basis. The other suggests he needs the treatment after he receives a package of tea bags.

The company is better known in Japan than the U.S., so this ad (even as a publicity stunt) should help generate some more U.S. brand awareness.

Last year, you may recall outwear retailer Waterproof ticked off the White House after posting a billboard in Times Square featuring the actual likeness of President Obama. But this is a look-alike, not an actual likeness.

But using look-alikes can put marketers in legal hot water as well. Bette Midler and Tom Waits have won lawsuits to stop look-alikes in ads. However, as Advertising Age points out, the "commercial parody" tone of the Salonpas spots could mean they're protected by the First Amendment.

Robert Kay of Pac-Tech communications, who produced the videos, said: "We're not using his likeness -- just a look alike. We've taken a very respectful tone, even if we are pushing the boundaries a bit."

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