I was poking around Cathy Davidson’s HASTAC blog this afternoon seeking a something pithy, when I stumbled upon her post about the science of attention in Cymbalta’s television advertising. She researched direct-to-consumer prescription drug ads for her book, Now You See It, and now attributes our astronomical anti-depressant use to this phenomenon.
For marketing students, Dr. Davidson’s post is an amazing analysis of the power of advertising to manipulate consumer behavior.
Watch the ad below:
then ask yourself if the visuals overshadow the words, if the emphasis on “hurts” at the end virtually erases the extraordinary number of serious side effects.
The first time it was broadcast, I laughed at the litany of side effects. Who would take this? Who wouldn’t be scared off by a list of side effects that take almost 60 seconds–over 2/3 of the commercial–to read at a normal rate of speech?
But then I work in marketing.