Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Science of Marketing Pills…Or How I Imagine It Probably Works

Let’s face it. Americans love pills. Regardless of how many times we complain about our copays or about dragging ourselves to the doctor’s office; we love that we can simply take a tablet or capsule and our health problem magically vanishes. Why do we love our pills you ask? The answer is simple: Americans (except for members of the federal government) love easy solutions to problems. That’s why the majority of us aren’t mathematicians. We’re Americans and we want our problems solved right here, right now without logarithmic and quadratic formulas. Love it or hate it. That’s the stone cold fact.

Of course the American way does not end with us simply being content to love easy solutions privately. We have to find a way to make these easy solutions profitable. So enter the marketing gurus. The marketing gurus get together with various drug company executives and come up with ways to aesthetically market their product to the incredibly pill happy and stupid public. I imagine that their meeting probably takes place at the local Chuck E. Cheese, where in between rounds of Skee Ball, marketing officials and drug executives pitch ideas back and forth to each other.

Drug Exec: So the medication helps reverse male-pattern baldness. What can you produce as an ad that will sell our product?
Marketing Expert: I see a lake filled with many swans and one of the swans has a small carrot.
Drug Exec: That’s amazing. Here’s $15 million dollars for your commercial. Now race me to the ball pit!!

Now I’m sure that the meeting is probably a little more in-depth than what I’ve described it as being. They probably play some air hockey during their time at Chuck E. Cheese as well. I digress. The point is drug companies have absolutely no clue on how to market their drugs and this is because they’re liabilities are too high for their marketing techniques to work.

Think of it this way. You’re the head of a drug company that’s holding a patent on a brand new drug that has been proven to reverse male-pattern baldness in 75% of clinical trials. You release your drug “Hairbaq” to the public. Your third-party marketing people come up with commercial ideas that will see through to it that your company has the carrot-eating, swan loving, bald male demographic cornered. People see the advertisement with the swans fighting over the orange veggie and think to themselves, “Hmm maybe I should talk to my doctor about my baldness” as well as, “Do I have any carrots and ranch dressing in the fridge?”

At this point you’ve won half of the battle. The carrot-loving cueballs go talk to their doctors and pretty soon pharmacies around America are dispensing Hairbaq. You’re in the clear…or so you thought you were.

You’ve got a slight problem.

While 75% of those clinical trials showed patients re-growing hair--the other 25% began sprouting wings…out of their asses. Your marketing people, opting to dramatize the dreamlike qualities of a swan fighting for its lone defenseless carrot, forgot to mention that possible side-effect in your $15-million advertisement. Not only do you now have 25% of your bald market flapping around ass-first; your drug is now being pulled off the market and you’re getting sued. So much for Hairbaq.

This is why we have so many problems in the drug market. Actually I have no idea why we have so many problems in the drug market. I just imagine that this could be the reason why. I‘m clueless to the existing problems because I don‘t have a drug problem. I tend to avoid popping pills outside of Aleve and Excedrin. Therefore my knowledge of drug marketing consists of the following 3 principles.

1.) The drug companies come out with some pretty stupid drugs. (See LATISSE© & ALLI (Poop))
2.) These stupid drugs are marketed to incredibly stupid people.
3.) Somewhere & somehow, somebody is making a killing off of really stupid advertisements.
But in the defense of the drug companies and their marketing experts; it’s not just them. A growing trend (it’s exploded since Obama took office) in pill-chasing lawyer advertisements seem to nowadays outnumber the dumb drug commercials like 3-to-1 (5-to-1 in sunny Florida). I don’t know if these are the real statistics but in my mind: it’s pretty accurate. Not only do these commercials outnumber the drug advertisements; they out-dumb them.

If you’ve been living under a rock and you’ve not yet experienced these nuggets of absolute hilarity let me throw a hypothetical one out to you.

“If you’ve taken the medications Levitra & Viagra and not experienced/experienced a raging boner lasting longer than 4 days you may be entitled to compensation in the sum but not limited to the entire southern portion of continental Africa. Call 1-800-BLO-HARD for a free legal consultation with our BLO-HARD Legal Consultants.”

As random as the side-effects are that you hear being read off by a speed reader in the swan-carrot commercials; the ones on these lawyer commercials are absolutely phenomenal. I am not making this up when I tell you that a couple days ago I witnessed a commercial for foot-fungus treatment compensation.

Let me elaborate on this gem further…and I quote:

“If you’ve experienced DEATH or a SEVERE & SUDDEN CASE of Liver Transplant after purchasing foot-fungus medication you may be entitled to legal representation and compensation…”

First off, I doubt the grammatical accuracy of that statement. Secondly, if your case of Athlete’s foot is that bad that your medication can either kill you or spontaneously teleport your liver unexpectedly to somebody else’s body; amputate your god-damned foot. Thirdly, a severe and sudden case of liver transplant?! Who the hell produced that anti-fungal? Toyota?!

So in conclusion, unless you want to unexpectedly and suddenly donate your liver to Ted Koppel--stay away from foot-fungus treatments. Scratch that. Stay away from unneeded drugs all together. Instead, eat a fucking carrot. Just watch out for swans.

Until next time,

Peace & Love


1 comment:

  1. HAHAHAHA...So true.

    You have to seriously just wonder if they dream up these ads at a ChuckECheese. lmao