Help! I'm In The Window
July 31, 2009
Help Remedies is a start up championing what I think of as friendly pharma.
They bring a conversational directness to painkillers and that, reminiscent of Innocent Drinks in the UK, but with a style all of their own.
They are there to help if you have a minor cut or headache, and strip out all the scary stuff from their products, which is nice and their new website is equally simple and charming.
They've just got distribution at Ricky's Stores in New York.
As a small brand just starting out in the world, without a corporate parent to pay for her coming out party or buy her shelf space, they had to think about how to earn the attention they couldn't afford to buy.
This meant creating installations in each of the Ricky's stores. Because they don't have budgets to play with, this meant doing it themselves ['Ironically', some of the Help dudes hurt themselves installing the windows].
The installations are charming and fun, highlighting specific products in creative ways - and very very different in tone and strategy than anything you would expect from a traditional healthcare company.
One of the things I particularly like is the portfolio approach they have taken to maximize the chances of spread.
As I've mentioned before, there is simply no way to predict what will spread, which is why record labels and movie studios work to a hit investment model where 9 out of 10 films will flop, but one will make enough to cover the rest and turn and profit.
As I've also mentioned before, this seems like a very sensible model for brand advertisers to consider.
Make ten things and see which one spreads.
And this is exactly what they've done.
They have 9 radically different installations: a man walking on a treadmill in high heels to promote 'Help I have a blister' at Ricky's in Soho; a political comment about universal healthcare on 8th St; a live sleeping demonstration on 13th to promote 'Help I can't sleep'.
I can only hope their next move is to release an unofficial mashup of The Beatles' 'Help!' and The Black Crowes 'Remedy'.
Fell in love with Donna Tartt's The Secret History early on and have yet to find a book that has so fully sucked me in to its world.
It's here http://twitpic.com/8tlau in between some of my other favorite authors like Tom Perrota & Colson Whitehead & Naomi Klein. See sad, crowded Ikea bookshelf as opposed to lovely, vibrant Allmodern version. Shameless, I know.
Very personal and evocative and that. Plus twitter integration. And brand plug. Good stuff.
I shall connect you to Allmodern via email.
I have also decided to award runner up prizes.
These people shall receive a copy of my nomination for the best book in the world - Stone Junction by Jim Dodge - just send me an address to farisyakob at gmail dot com.
John V Willshire
[I've signed up to Amazon Prime - postage and packing is no longer a concern for me]
And Happy Independence Day!
[Is that what you say? Or is it Merry or something?]
[I think because I grew up in England, the first thing that comes to mind when I wrote 'Independence Day' that is the Will Smith movie.]