Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Ad Education

There's plenty to critique in the world of advertising, particularly when it comes to how marketers target our health. As detrimental as this can be, it also provides us with some great tools to tweak in educating the public about health issues. Creative campaigns like the ones below are a great example of this tactic:

Milk Matters, a breastfeeding support and education collaborative based in Britain, recently posted this faux ad for a product called "TruBreast," touting convenient and eco-friendly built-in features such as the Auto-Nutrient Calculator ("no more scooping or measuring!") and the Kwik-Fill Temperature Regulating Tank, as well as the fact that you'll never, ever need to sterilize the product before use. In comparing breastfeeding to commercial products using the same sort of language (plus a sense of humor), they do a startlingly good job of making the competition look pretty lame in comparison.

Australian artist Justine Cooper took this approach further when she launched website, interactive self-test, tv-ads, billboards and magazine print ad campaign for a fictional psychiatric drug called "Havidol," which was created as a satire of the U.S. pharmaceutical industry and its Direct-to-Consumer marketing. She did a pretty convincing and subtle job of it, and supposedly fooled both consumers and at least one medical site into believing that the invented condition it purported to treat was real (though I have yet to find actual evidence of this online). Take the quiz to see if YOU might have Dysphoric Social Attention Consumption Deficit Anxiety Disorder (DSACDAD).

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