vendredi 14 novembre 2008

Viva Viagra?

It was 4am and I lay in my hotel room in the US, wide awake, watching TV and waiting for a reasonable hour to get out of bed to arrive (flying west always means waking up incredibly early for me).

Now there are a lot of differences between the TV on opposite sides of the Atlantic. One of the most obvious is the way that ad breaks are scheduled – there are lots more of them during each programme than in the UK, for example, and they come at odd moments – like just after the titles and just before the credits. English people find that weird.

But the thing that stuck me as the weirdest of all was the type of products advertised on TV. In Europe it’s not likely that you’ll see prescription drugs advertised on TV – mainly because it’s banned under EU regulations. The EU feel that it is inappropriate for drug companies to ‘speak directly’ to the consumers, preferring doctors / qualified people to make drug recommendations to us based on our actual needs. The US feels that this advertising is acceptable practice.

Anyway, that looks set to change in the EU over the next few years, but meanwhile, regardless of which side is right or wrong, you can’t escape the fact that some of the ads are just downright bizarre.

What amazes me most is the way the companies list the side effects of the drugs:

“…..may cause depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts”

“users of …… have reported experiencing traumatic dreams”

“…..may cause impaired vision, loss of sight and shortness of breath”

I mean really, how bad does it have to get before you think, “well, it may be worth it, even if I do end up blind”?

But all of these adverts pale into insignificance when compared to my favourite ad of all time. The campaign is called “Viva Viagra” and yes, you guessed it, it’s targeted at guys who are struggling to raise their game.

It’s all set in the good old west, with roadside bars, burnt earth and blue skies. Guys on Harleys, wearing bandanas. Men enjoying a beer, a game of pool and a good old laugh at how they couldn’t get it up for love nor money.

The theme song to the campaign? Viva Viagra sung to the tune of Viva Las Vegas. I mean really. Come on. God bless the marketing boys at Pfizer.

But even with all this macho imagery and desert landscape, they still have to tell you about the negative side effects of the drug.

Apparently if your erection lasts longer than four hours, you should contact your physician.

Jesus wept. If it lasts longer than four hours then I think it’s your partner who’ll need to be seeking medical attention.

Something to reduce the bruising and an inflatable cushion, I’d suggest.

19 commentaires:

Ben a dit…

And you say such things are on their way here?

I can't wait for June Whitfield to start peddling the morning after pill.

travelling, but not in love a dit…

Ben that'd be too funny.

Or for Ruth Madoc to be telling us that the drug she's selling may cause temporary loss of memory and genital itching.

conortje a dit…

I also found the very same thing hilarious and sweet jesus how many commercial breaks do they have - it makes programmes unwatchable

travelling, but not in love a dit…

It makes the unwatchable programmes unwatchable, Big C. truly.

And I'll never moan about the BBC and their policy of independent, non-partisan news reporting, ever ever again.

wontletlifedefineme a dit…

It reminds me of a questionnaire I just filled in for this market research company (I get paid for that, yay!) and it gave you some names of brands like prada and gucci and statements like 'sometimes I really yearn for this brand'. And I just sat staring at the screen wondering how many pathetic people would click the button 'this completely applies to me'. I think commercials should be banned completely to be honest. They're only trying to sell you stuff you don't need.

travelling, but not in love a dit…

Marjolein, but how else would we know that we don't need this stuff if we didn't know it existed.

As for 'this brand completely applies to me'...well, I can only imagine who ticks that box. Especially for Gucci or Prada...

CawfeeGuy a dit…

TBNIL that is your FUNNIEST post EVER!
omg my co-workers are looking at me giggling, quizzically wondering what could be so interesting in finance...

Louise a dit…

I rarely... RARELY watch TV. But when I travel to my dad's house, it's always on. MY favorite is something about "natural male enhancement." There's this guy with the biggest grin on the planet.

Back to not watching TV. When I do, I am insulted by commercials. The drug ones are the worst. And the reason they have to list all the side effects, every potential one, is because SOMEONE will sue if it doesn't work exactly like they thought. I hate it all.

However, I'm glad we have these stupid things so you could write a hilarious post about it. I like the last line best!

red a dit…

After four months in L.A. everything you mentioned here still bothers me about the TV in the US. I don't think I'll ever get used to it.

Mike a dit…

i think you're all just jealous! LOL. i watch tv shows online mostly. but even then, we're stuck to watching the SAME commercial during the breaks as episodes online are sponsored individually.

aims a dit…

Sweetie - The answer to why Americans think they rule the world has just been given in this post. That's why all the men are walking around with one hand stretched out front and the other holding a white cane - but dammit - they're happy! They've gone blind doing it for over four hours.

What I'm waiting for is the ad for the partners who've had to deal with the 4+ hour erection.

There's another 'precious' one for genital herpes. They show a couple with a beautifully wrapped box with a big bow on it and one gives it to another. The words go - the gift that keeps on giving.

Jesus is weeping buckets!

cb a dit…

I fucking hate that viagra commercial. I also hate the outdoor bathtub cialis commercial.

Oh, and I hated the commercial for the fat blocker which listed side effects as: oily discharge, explosive diarrhea, an urgent need to go and an inability to hold it, etc.

WTF??

Daryl a dit…

My fav side effect w/any of these erection drugs is the '4 hr erection' ... as if any man who had a hard on for 4 hrs is going to call the doctor ..

:-Daryl

Rob (Inukshuk Adventure) a dit…

Oh my this is a funny post. The guy who calls his doctor after a 4+ hour erection is only doing so to ask for something to help with the exhaustion!

We've found that we love our PVR so we can zip through all the ads!

12ontheinside a dit…

4 hour erection? My legs just spontaneously crossed.

travelling, but not in love a dit…

CG - glad to give you something to titter about!

Louise, natural male enhancement? That just sounds scary and a little bit like it might be painful.....

Red, it takes more getting used to than I'm willing to do. Much like French TV - mine rarely gets plugged in these days....

travelling, but not in love a dit…

Mike, it's all a big marketing nuisance, no?

Aims, 'the gift that keeps on giving'? Eek!

travelling, but not in love a dit…

CB - WTF is an oily discharge? Sounds like something a 20-year old Nissan would have....

Daryl - exactly....he's going to be working his way through his little black book......

travelling, but not in love a dit…

Rob - maybe he also needs some stamina pills, he he

12oti - yeah right. And then uncrossed again, eh?