College students know that chewing gum is for making out. But Immuno Gum, a new product, also claims to include immune-system-boosting ingredients like zinc, vitamin C and echinacea. To promote the brand, business incubator Chicklabs and students from Chapman University’s film school created this video of a pair of college students—the “hottest” at the school, according to the ad’s makers—handing out free samples, and then free kisses, to dozens of their peers on campus.
It’s an awkward and slightly gross premise that will make germaphobes squirm. The result, though, is ultimately pretty innocent, consisting mainly of gawky pecks, and blushing, and laughter, and cheering, and the general lack of comfort that’s bound to accompany spit-swapping for the sake of business.
The product’s tagline, “Gum with benefits,” ends up fitting pretty well, as a pun for vitamins and casual hookups, though it seems a bit specious to suggest kissing a lot of random people is going to be good for you. In other words, it manages to be funny, at moments, but still pretty weird.
The public setting and pass-around vibe makes it feel more transactional and less charmingly intimate than this spring’s wildly popular strangers-kissing ad for L.A. fashion label Wren. But it’s pretty much hoping to leverage the same kind of rubbernecking dynamic—it’s just the undergrad version. At least the product actually has something to do with mouths, though.