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Weekend Follies

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  • Ned Barnett
    OK, I m chillin in my crib (sorry, I m watching The Shield on Hulu and the dialog is contagious ). But what s really funny are the commercials. First, The
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 19, 2013
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      OK, I'm chillin' in my crib (sorry, I'm watching The Shield on Hulu and the
      dialog is contagious <g>). But what's really funny are the commercials.

      First, The Shield is a really gritty dirty-cop show that was on FX, so it's
      a bit grittier than you'd see on a broadcast network. Keep that image in
      your mind.

      Next, the first commercial. Sponsoring The Shield is . (wait for it) .
      Liberty University Online. For those who aren't aware of it, Liberty
      University is a faith-based university, founded by the late Rev. Jerry
      Falwell. Despite that, it's a highly credible accredited university (I've
      got a very good friend who got her masters there, and having taught at two
      universities myself, I feel that I'm right in this assessment). But it is
      also faith-based, and sponsoring a show about hero cops who also boost coke
      from drug dealers to put their kids through college or buy a boat . well,
      you get the picture.

      Next, the second commercial. This is sponsoring an episode where a meth
      dealer gets blown up in his lab, 3rd degree burns over 60% of his body, and
      the scene is him in ICU, about to have the plug pulled. Break to a
      commercial for Cleveland Clinic. Great timing, huh?

      More impressive, this is also THE WORST COMMERCIAL FOR A HOSPITAL THAT I
      HAVE EVER SEEN. Let me mention that I did my masters work in advertising
      while being PR director at a hospital, which (under my direction) became the
      first hospital in South Carolina to advertise on radio, then on TV (and
      those ads were very successful). I also won two national ADDYs for TV ads I
      scripted as a freelancer for a hospital-only ad agency. So I have studied
      what works and what doesn't when it comes to hospital ads.

      What works is like the old adage, "sell the sizzle, not the steak" - you do
      NOT show the equipment - or worse, operations - you show the happy results
      of people living healthy lives post-surgery. This ad, for the Cleveland
      Clinic . first, it featured a doctor who:

      a. Needed a shave, badly
      b. Made Barney Fife look like a sex symbol
      c. He was in scruffy scrubs, so he was at his worst, not his best
      (which was never very good)

      Behind him, we see a cardiac catheterization in action (having had two of
      them, I can assure you they aren't pretty). But the selling point? They do
      their caths in the OR, so if there's a problem, they can immediately crack
      open your chest, rip out your heart, stop it, fix it, put it back in, then
      (hopefully) restart it. Having had one of those, too, I can assure you that
      THIS is NOT a PRETTY PICTURE.

      So, the ad was the worst of all possible worlds. Designed to bore (the
      doctor was less exciting than the late Wally Cox - or, more recently, Al
      Gore at his pedantic best, or Dan Quayle at his loquacious worst), designed
      to frighten, designed to show you a cluttered and chaotic scene (no
      Hollywood director would show such a cluttered OR, unless it was a horror
      movie).

      And on top of that, it was sponsoring a gruesome death scene in an ICU of a
      "crispy-critter" burn victim. Timing - you can't make this stuff up, folks.

      Since it's the weekend, I thought you might enjoy sharing my amazement at
      the bad timing, bad placement and the bad ad.

      Ned Barnett, APR
      Marketing & PR Fellow, American Hospital Association
      Barnett Marketing Communications
      420 N. Nellis Blvd., A3-276 - Las Vegas NV 89110
      702-561-1167 - cell/text
      <http://www.barnettmarcom.com> www.barnettmarcom.com - twitter @nedbarnett
      <http://pr-marketing2point0.blogspot.com/>
      http://pr-marketing2point0.blogspot.com/

      05-6-16 BMC Logo



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