It"s a minor mystery in the drug world that"s end up being a subject of debate among AstraZeneca (AZN)"s Symbicort sales staff: Why, in TV commercials for the asthma drug, is the presenter represented as a pitch-black silhouette and also not a real person? (Video below.)

The denizens of CafePharma -- the online bulletin board where pharmaceutical reps vent their frustrations and also spread gossip in the security of anonymity -- have some blunt concepts on the topic.

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The ads started two years back and display a mrs addressing the camera around her asthma symptoms. In each ad, she is shown only in heavy shadow, or together an animated black silhouette. It"s an inexplicable tactic because that a drug commercial -- companies typically want the many appealing actors feasible for your brands, no ones with shadowy, obscured faces.

The most recent Symbicort ad even started a guessing game on YouTube and CafePharma regarding who the silhouette actually is. The smart money seems to be on actress and also model Karyn Plonsky (pictured), that mentions being cast in a Symbicort advertisement on her MySpace page.

AZ staffers have mixed feelings around the ad. Some of them think the gimmick works because it"s attention-getting. Rather think it"s weird and distracting. Here"s a sampling of their comments:

Why doesn"t Symbicort lady ~ above TV have a face? just a black shadow. Ns don"t gain it.She"s embarrassing to display her face. All Symbicort is is a combination of two old commodities in an old shipment system, prices choose it"s yes, really a breakthrough drug, created by a foreign company sold to take benefit of the US medical care system. Europe revoked the patent ~ above Symbicort, because it"s one obvious" combination, remember?

She"s among the salesforce vacancies being organized open. They"ll put her confront on as soon as the position has been filled.

I"ve concerned the conclusion the she"s the wife of the horn player in the Zatarain DirtyRice commercials. Because he"s in shadow, too, they make a lover couple.

it"s a marketing cheat so lock don"t have to shoot several commercials the appeal to various demographics. Looking in ~ a shadow, you don"t understand age, race, sex or anything

She doesn"t desire to self-identify...

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To include to the mystery, the Symbicort ads that attribute a male do show his face. Those ads were created after feedback showed that older patient didn"t relate come the faceless silhouette.