Feel Better or Prophylactic Advertising
July 23, 2008
I've seen these Tylenol posters around New York for a while and they're great. I really like them - anyone know who did them? Well done.
Ads for painkillers have been stuck in a product power paradigm for as long as I can remember. They dramatise the pain, with hammers and that, and then show either blessed relief, with suitable bird tweets, or high impact demolition, hitting pain where it hurts.
Tylenol's new campaign elevates the brand's role to a higher order proposition - making you feel better. In fact, the tips contained in the ads and on the website are, more often than not, attempts at pain prophylaxis - ways to stop you getting the headache in the first place.
This no doubt seemed counter intuitive when the client first saw it - why would I prevent the pain for free, rather than treat it with my delicious analgesics?
Because it positions Tylenol as an expert on pain and as a brand that wants to help you feel better, not sell you painkillers.
Of course, for each set of tips on the site there are the relevant products to help alongside, but the point is the focus is on helping you feel better, holistically.
[They have an incredible, baffling, number of ways to package up acetaminophen [which is what they call paracetamol over here].]
The site is really simple. No bells, no whistle, just tips that are useful for chronic pain sufferers [they have no tips for hangovers].
Consumers have been adding their own tips to the ads - such as this advisory not to mix the product with wine.
The only question I have is: why is the Tylenol website favicon the Netscape logo?