Advertising to the vulnerable PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 17 July 2017 13:18

By Remedios F. Marmoleño]

Advertising is a very strong influence on decisions that people make, especially decisions as to what to buy,  where to go for dinner or for a vacation or who to vote for. In an election therefore, the candidate who has more money and can spend more on ads over the radio  or TV  or print  media usually has a big advantage over those who have less. This is not to say that what is advertised is necessarily the truth. But advertising professionals apply what psychology says are the strategies that attract the attention of a target sector and many people are not even aware of this.

The Internet is now often used for advertisement and the advertisers use a more subtle approach, one that builds on connecting one-on-one with the reader or  Internet user. I was convinced of this this past week as I  watched two  rather long ads. The audio and video together make a strong impact on the senses.

The first was about how to combat Type 2 diabetes. We are aware that this disease is like a modern epidemic, affecting millions of people throughout  the world and the medications for maintaining healthy blood sugar levels are making the pharmaceutical companies super rich.

The ad began with a husband saying his wife went into  diabetic coma and he feared she won’t get out of it. When she did,  he made an extensive research about a cure for diabetes and he came to information about a tribe in Sri Lanka where no one had diabetes. To make a long story short,  diabetes was unknown in the tribe  because of  the kind of meals the tribe members ate and the husband could sell  a book he had written  where  the recipes  for the food were listed. If you had diabetes, wouldn’t you be interested?

Another ad was about Alzheimer’s disease and the come-on was very much like the diabetes advertisement. A young wife had early onset Alzheimer and the doc said in 3 months she would not recognize any member of the family. A long and careful research was carried out and  a little known treatment was discovered. You could have the treatment outlined but you had to pay. Same spiel and the same come-on.

One has to be very sophisticated not to watch the video, which happened to be longer than the usual ones we watch. And having watched, there is that great temptation to connect with the advertiser. Once your email address is known, the advertiser becomes a pest.

I am thankful I don’t have diabetes or Alzheimer ( not yet anyway!). Perhaps I could push the ads aside because of  this. How about those who have these ailments?   Or have a family member with these dreaded diseases?