Common Side Effects May Include…

Pharmaceutical companies spend an estimated $5 billion on drug ads aimed at consumers. Back in 1997, the Food and Drug Administration in the US  began allowing these companies to market their drugs directly to consumers.  (I find it interesting that the FDA also receives funding from the drug companies to review new medications fast and get them to market quickly.) Today you cannot watch tv, listen to the radio, or even read a magazine without being bombarded with drug commercials.  Lawyers and fast food restaurants move over – billboard space is next.

The ads make lofty claims.  You will become a better lover, live a happy-ever-after life, and even go for hours without having to run to the bathroom – awesome.

But it’s not all glitter and gloss.  The drug company must list the possible side effects.  The list isn’t really there to help educate you on all the risks. No, it’s there in case of a possible lawsuit when they can say, told you so, after one entire side of your body loses feeling and droops, your vision blurs, your tongue turns blue and your throat swells shut.

Here is a shortened list for the drug Abilify, which is being promoted as an add-on drug to treat depression.

“An increased risk of stroke and mini-stroke…very high fever, rigid muscles, shaking, confusion, sweating, or increased heart rate and blood pressure…(neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS), a rare but serious side effect which could be fatal)…uncontrollable movements of face, tongue, or other parts of body as these may be signs of a serious condition called tardive dyskinesia (TD)…Increases in blood sugar levels (hyperglycemia), in some cases serious and associated with coma or death…Light headedness or faintness caused by a sudden change in heart rate and blood pressure when rising quickly from a sitting or lying position…Decreases in white blood cells (infection fighting cells)…ABILIFY and medicines like it can affect your judgment, thinking, or motor skills…Medicines like ABILIFY® (aripiprazole) can impact your body’s ability to reduce body temperature; you should avoid overheating and dehydration…ABILIFY and medicines like it have been associated with swallowing problems (dysphagia)…”

Scary stuff right? Apparently – not so much.  Maybe it’s just too much information. Most people believe the positive claims and seem to ignore the rest. Side effects won’t affect me.  Maybe it’s because the commentator reads off the list of risks in a lowered voice at lightening speed while our eyes glaze over and we stop listening.  Or maybe it’s because people want the quick fix and to hell with the rest.  Just give me my happy pill! Consumers (that’s us) are rushing to their doctors for prescriptions to treat diseases they never knew they had before watching cable tv.

Forget Abilify. You know what else has been proven to greatly decrease depression?  Exercise!  Ask your doctor if getting off your ass is right for you.  (I stole that from Bill Maher)

Stop the madness!


Commercial gone wrong…you tell me?

I don’t watch very much television so I am not usually bothered by the commercial world that depicts woman as complete idiots in laundry ads or any other non creative 30 second spot. I think the ad agents are just plain lazy when they don’t even try to be creative and fall back on typecasting. I am not sure what bothers me more, the fact that they make women look stupid in the commercial or that they think we are stupid enough to believe their product works and therefore we NEED them? Mascara ads that claim their mascara will lengthen your lashes when we all know the 15 year old model is wearing fake ones. Another great example that sure rings true to me is the one where the Mom lets the dog run through the kitchen covered in mud, shaking, because she has paper towel and all the time in the world to clean it up! Ya right…as if? These ads make me NOT want to use their products just to make a point! Its like saying stupid people buy this! The only way to counter is to NOT buy it!

But when I saw the Nando’s Chicken commercial, I was really disturbed. They use ‘shock’ value in their ads to try and get you to buy their product. I’ve tried their chicken and thought it was ordinary and wouldn’t go back, regardless of how they try to promote it.

But here on Tara Cronica we are dedicated in ‘finding lyrical beauty in everyday happening’, we try to find the uplifting side of things and although Nando’s ads in my humble opinion don’t have an uplifting side to them they do however make other creative vignettes stand out, so if that’s their purpose, they did a great job!

I was going to post ‘Up Close and Personal with Tracy’, but that will have to wait till next week, having been distracted by this topic. I love when you see a great ad that leaves you with a smile on your face! This first video is my idea of a creative commercial/short film. The latter is what a commercial gone wrong looks like! You tell me…T-Mobile or Nando’s Chicken? I would have loved to be in the room when the ad agency made this pitch! “You want to what?…you sick bleeeeep! Really?” Just saying…

T-Mobile ~

And now Nando’s WT…?

I apologize if I turned you off your breakfast or lunch! 🙂


Brilliant Marketing

I am always fascinated by the art of marketing.  Yes, I said art.  I think you have to be very creative to come up with a brilliant marketing campaign.  You may have noticed my interest in marketing by the fact that I’ve written other posts highlighting well done commercials.  The one by Old Spice and another by Kotex stand out for me.

When I come across good marketing (which is rare) I feel a surge of excitement.  I guess I’m just weird like that.  But if you’re attempting to persuade me to buy your product then I appreciate it when you’ve put some real effort and creativity into it.  When you treat me with respect and play to my intelligence instead of the other way around, then you know what? I’ll probably buy your product and try it out.

I’ve discovered another gem of creativity in marketing and I think you’ll agree.  This one is very interactive.  Smart! I can see future advertising becoming interactive with its audience.  Play along with the video below.  Click on “shoot the bear” or “don’t shoot the bear” and see what happens.  It’s fun and funny and it’s perfectly directed to their target consumers (students in this case).  I wrote about a dozen options in the space and laughed with the results of each one.  Way to go Tipp-Ex.  White and re-write.  Brilliant!