That’s something that not many people will dispute. The question becomes, “What should we say in our advertising?” And there are many schools of thought to answer that question.
Last August, I read a discussion about whether drug advertising should be regulated or abolished in the New York Times “Room for Debate” article (which can be read here). Marcia Angell, a senior lecturer in social medicine at Harvard Medical School was quoted, “Direct-to-consumer prescription drug advertising does exactly what it is intended to do — increase sales for drug companies. Increasingly, it does that by promoting medical conditions, as well as drugs. If the industry can convince essentially normal people that minor complaints require long-term drug treatment, its market will grow.”
Some advertising sells pain; some sells pleasure. That “pleasure” is referred to in advertising circles as the “end benefit” to the consumer. I’ve always been a positive person, so I am drawn (both as a marketer and as a consumer) to that which sells pleasure. At Miracle-Gro, we always showed the amazing results and beautiful gardens achieved with product use; with LEGO, the advertising celebrated and highlighted for kids the joy of building. I am bothered by the barrage of negativity ever put before us, as I believe pharmaceutical ads simply sell sickness. Yes, I am one of those people who push the mute button every time the TV starts talking about restless leg syndrome, prostate cancer and erectile dysfunction. I choose not to fill my head with such negative images.
I am watching, as many Americans are, our country’s struggles to deal with healthcare issues. One productive answer might lie in the same premise, that advertising works. Maybe the insurance companies should be advertising wellness—the joys of exercise, the fun of not smoking, the confidence inspired by good eating habits.
But what does this have to do with your brand and your business? Well, my question to you is, “What images are you putting top-of-mind with your consumers?”
Maybe you don’t have a multi-million dollar budget, but every company (large or small) has ways to heighten awareness of something—through an online video, a TV ad, a windshield flyer or even in a simple email communication. Everyone can bring a product/service/problem/solution to the forefront of someone’s mind in order to move them to action.
If you’d like help strategizing the best messages to keep top of mind with your customers, give us a call. We’re experts at identifying the compelling, motivating, get-them-off-the-couch end benefits so that you can highlight them in your marketing efforts. We’d love to help you.