TV Drug Commercials

In the last 10 to 15 years, there has been an explosion of TV commercials targeting middle-age people with prescription drugs. It has become so popular, as an advertising technique it’s assuming all the characteristics of an art form. Let’s have a look, shall we?


Because the FCC requires pharmaceutical companies to reveal all contraindications (i.e. dangerous things) about their products, they have created a script to do this without turning the prospective suckers off. They will start out with a voice, usually female, that is sensual, soft, and gentle. She will try, to stupefy, to bewitch, to enchant and hook us. But, when it comes to telling us the truth about how unpleasant this drug could be, she suddenly changes the timber, tone and even cadence of her voice. Now, she quickens its pace and rattles through the bad stuff with a matter-of-fact flat tone and does it quickly, hoping we won’t listen to this part. And of course, this is intentional. They don't want us to pay attention to all the bad things this drug X could do to us.  It’s even more insulting to the intelligence of viewers than the jingle-plagued advertising pitches of the late 50’s and early 60s.  Whom do these advertisers think they’re fooling?  A question I shouldn’t ask because thousands upon thousands do buy these prescription products.  Here is a fictional example of what I’m thinking of:


Maronix for the way you live today. It’s a natural, healthy way to control unusual urges and embarrassing emissions. It works with your body overnight to help regularize your chemistry….Ask your doctor about it.


Now for the other side:


You should know that Maronix contains a risk of headache, heartache, ass ache, stomach ache, neck ache, joint ache,  and swelling of the knees, internal bleeding, urinary inflammation, diarrhea, eyeball popping, liver quiver, sexual side effects include penis inversion, and  vaginal warts.  Studies have shown that certain patients can become apelike if not taken correctly.  You should not use Maronix, if you are a man, woman or child, Martian, Klingon, Vulcan, black, white, Chinese or southeast Asian, if you have just taken Maronix and have not heard these instructions, please call our toll-free number at 1-888-294-etc. …Maronix for the way you live today.


Okay, that is an exaggeration but not by much. I have heard some of these commercials try to slip past us, the most horrifying details.  The demographic for television has changed greatly in this country.  The middle age American usually watches TV after coming home from work.  The national news period is approximately 5:30 to 6:30 across the nation.  And that’s when we really get these irritating pitches a plenty.  I’ve seen 2 to 3 in a row during any national news half-hour.  I expect this will continue until the next group of aging Americans assumes economic and political power.  The generation X’ers I think they’ve been dubbed.  Who knows what they’ll be repelled with?  Maybe, they will be pitched various bodily implants to keep them eternally in their 20’s.