The Power of Suggestion

14 May

No secret here. The power of advertising is to suggest that you need something. Sometimes you didn’t even know you needed that something.  Such is the case in some types of medical advertising. Is your skin red and flushed looking? It might be rosacea! Trouble falling asleep? Get some Ambien! On MSNBC.com today there is an article about Requip, the medicine for “restless legs syndrome.” Apparently, since the drug got approved in 2005, the company has been advertising and inquiries about the “syndrome”and the drug have increased dramatically. However, the drug is just about to go generic, and thus, Requip will no longer be advertised as heavily. They are expecting a drop in people with “restless legs syndrome.” Read the story here http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/24603237/

In any case, this speaks volumes about the power of suggestion (and persuasion). And really, about the power of advertising. We tend to believe what we see on TV. And we are concerned about our health, so advertising on TV about our health seems to be very effective.

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2 Responses to “The Power of Suggestion”

  1. Phil Bernstein May 22, 2008 at 8:04 pm #

    Back in the ’90’s, a furniture chain called Smith’s Home Furnishings had a lock on mattress sales in the Portland, OR market. They were so strong that most competitors didn’t advertise much — the perception was that Smith’s owned the category.

    Late in the decade, Smith’s went out of business and closed all their stores. Soon afterwards, Sleep Train and Sleep Country USA entered the market, advertising heavily. Sensing an opportunity, BedMart also ramped up their marketing.

    By the following year, mattress sales in Portland rose 12%. Not because there were more people — the population held steady. But because there was more advertising, area residents became more aware of their sore backs, and headed for the mattress store.

    Advertising can’t create a problem where none exists. But it can offer a solution to a problem that a consumer didn’t realize he had…

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Can Your Advertising Create Demand? « Portland’s Finest Advertising Blog - May 23, 2008

    […] Deborah Brody’s blog tipped me off to an interesting story from the world of pharmaceuticals. According to MSNBC, GlaxoSmithKline managed to create a near-epidemic of restless leg syndrome by launching a campaign for a drug called Requip. Thousands of patients who either never realized they had a problem, or never thought there could be a solution, headed for their doctor’s offices after seeing the Requip ad on television. “Restless legs syndrome is a great example of a suddenly out-of-the-blue disease,” said Dr. Christopher J. Earley, an associate professor of neurology at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore who treats the disorder. […]

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