Effective or stupid?

Here’s the question:  Effective or stupid?

Assume, based on the casting, the audience is adults 45+.  Taking into consideration the audience, the message and desired outcome — effective or stupid?

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21 comments on “Effective or stupid?

  1. Cam Beck says:

    I gave up trying to make a snap judgment about that question when I was so wrong about SalesGenie.com spot in the Super Bowl (in terms of ROI).

    The message is simple: Ask questions of your doctor. They even threw in some examples wrapped in the phantom of a story (Why are we running these tests, Doc?). They all broke out into a song… Unexpected (a bit gimmicky, though, if you asked me).

    Coming from the AdCouncil, I presume this has something to do with improving the quality and efficiency of health care, which will drive down costs. The benefits here, as opposed to what the audience already presumes it is doing, aren’t really clear, and it all seems so common sense.

    I guess what it’s missing is the argument that this commercial is even necessary. It may be, but I can’t figure out why just by watching it. I ask questions of my doctor (and the doctor of my children) whenever I go in. It’s just a natural habit. I just don’t know why I should care.

    To me, a better way to be unexpected would be to ask a question that elicits curiosity about the answer. Perhaps tell a compelling story of someone whose suffering could have been alleviated if he had just asked the right questions. But apparently I’m not the audience, so I need more information about the audience and the problem that needs solving.

  2. Connie Reece says:

    I cast my vote for stupid and somewhat condescending.

  3. Jane Greer says:

    Stupid and ineffective. I had to watch it three times to understand what they were saying. And I agree with Connie Reece: it’s condescending.

  4. drrogera says:

    I was thinking stupid until I saw it was from the AdCouncil. They must have a very small budget. Their ads always have a look of being made in the 60’s. I should have seen it sooner. YouTube makes it difficult to get a good feel for things. It is still not effective but you will remember it.

  5. Cam,

    I was right there with you on the SalesGenie thing.

    As for this ad — you’re right the message is simple. I think we are of a different generation than the target audience. We do question the docs. Heck, I call my doctor by his first name. I don’t call him Dr. So and So. He doesn’t call me Mr. McLellan.

    But my mom is appalled that I would call him Jerry rather than the official Dr. title.

    She’s much less likely to question her doc or challenge something he says. Our parents generation is the last of the doctor as God or on a pedastal era, I think.

    So…I am pretty sure this spot is aimed at older adults. Which makes the creative, IMO, even less credible.

    While they may have a compelling reason to encourage older adults to ask more questions, I don’t think this is the answer.

    Drew

  6. Steve, Connie & Jane — I’m with you. I first saw this on TV and couldn’t believe it. I thought it was assinine. So then, of course I thought…I should blog about this. 🙂

    So I went in search of it and voila. But I completely concur with your comments and take on the spot.

    Drew

  7. drrogera,

    If the Ad Council spots always look dated, maybe they should stop doing them?

    Drew

  8. Doug Meacham says:

    Hi Drew,
    I’m late to the party, but agree with the others — it’s stupid (oh, and I’m 49).

  9. Doug,

    I can remember a day when I would have classified 49 as ancient. But now you’re a mere baby!

    Sounds like we are in agreement. What I can’t figure out is why it is running. Surely we could fill the pro bono time with something a bit more effective.

    Drew

  10. I’m 52 and my doctors consider me a huge PIA because I question and research everything – and sometimes they’ve been wrong, but I digress :=)

    If the ad is for, say ages 60+ who might still think docs are gods, the ad works even less well. Song lyrics are hard to hear and decipher. They also sorta sucked. Music was catchy, tho.

    Unfocused, unclear, and just plain dumb.

  11. Stupid, condescending, assinine…that pretty much covers it for me. What’s sad is that I don’t think the message is clear. Interesting attempt, but I can tell you that mom and dad wouldn’t have gotten it the first time. And my mom is a hospital administrator.

  12. sherry Borzo says:

    Oh I get it and ad for Scrubs. done.

  13. Sean Howard says:

    Stupid.

    I understand the idea… but there’s no involvement… nothing to draw me in…

  14. It does have a catchy tune, it’s easy to dance to, but the words were kinda garbled. I’d give it a 5.

    It’s unrealistic and, as several other commenters noted, it’s condescending. But are there any good medical commercials? I think that sector should look for people who can pull off a good campaign, but they don’t need to worry about their ads. Medicine isn’t a luxury.

  15. Mark True says:

    I’ll take a shot at this just to keep the conversation going…

    It’s difficult to analyze without some kind of background, but assuming that they wanted to tell seniors to ask questions, I think it works.

    Think of a 60 or 65+ person watching TV. They’ve been scared to death by politicians and pharmaceutical companies. They’ve been cliched to death by the adult diaper marketers. And they’ve simply been ignored by every other marketer who doesn’t realize how much disposable income they’re sitting on.

    Why not slow things down a little bit, have a little fun with something a tool they haven’t seen much of lately – a musical production number – but grew up with, and deliver a simple message?

    The audience reading blogs and using the Internet is NOT the target audience here…they’re asking questions, as indicated in the comments. But the senior that’s not surfing the internet for answers is probably a lot like Drew’s mom and DOESN’T routinely question the doctor.

    This seems like a decent attempt at getting a simple message out to an audience in a way that they’ll pay attention to.

    I bet it’s running on reruns of Diagnosis Murder.

    That’s just another viewpoint…

    -Mark

  16. Mike Sansone says:

    I like the musical score (not crazy about the lyrics or the rendition of them)

    The message got lost in the delivery. Maybe a bit more story prior to the musical. Final thought: Forgettable (not effective).

  17. Brett says:

    I’m going to say effective, even though it hurts. It’s cheesy enough to stand out, and get a split second more of attention than what else is out there. And the call to action is clear.

    Disclaimer: I would never want to be involved with a commercial like this, but since you asked . . . .

  18. So…if you thought it was stupid – how might you reach the audience better?

    If you thought it worked — what would you change?

    Drew

  19. It gets the point across – although I agree in a bit of a condescending tone.

    Bigger problem from my perspective is separating the desired outcome from the reality – docs and everyone involved with medicine are alredy stretched so thin, if we all start making a habit of asking a list of questions, it’s going to create an even bigger resource issue than we have today given nursing shortages, etc.

    It’s kind of like making sure you’ve got the product in stock before you launch the ad campaign.

    Just an interesting observation.

    Caroline

  20. Caroline,

    Hmm, interesting point. I know many doctors who, behind closed doors, will admit that dealing with patients is much more difficult today because we all come in, armed with print offs from the internet and a million questions.

    I’m sure there are many healthcare professionals who’d rather not have more questions. But, to me it sort of seems like it is our job to ask.

    I found the spot to be really “silly” and it doesn’t seem to be a silly topic to me. Especially when I consider the audience. Encouraging them to take charge of their healthcare hardly seems like a musical to me!

    Drew

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