That’s the conclusion that Gienna Shaw (@Gienna on Twitter) makes in her article on FierceHealthcare.com. She cites an interesting catch-22: Healthcare providers need to market their business to succeed but people don’t want to be marketed to by healthcare providers.
It’s a funny society we live in—people accept Fanta girls behaving in ludicrously sexual ways (seriously, how often do women in colorful outfits just start dancing, wait… This happens at sports games, which primarily sell food nutritionists cringe at)—or they’d rather see ginormous beer bottles and fast food hamburgers.
The irony here is that people also like ads for movie franchises like Iron Man, featuring Robert Downey, Jr. toned like Adonis. But then a town in North Carolina advertises the benefits of healthy eating and daily exercise as a way to live longer and happier with a tagline that reads, “Cheat death!” And get this, the N.C. ads get taken down. People in the town cry foul. A priest says it’s “false advertising.”
It’s a fine line, we get it. But if marketers can call Coca-Cola, an addictively sweet, delicious culprit of diabetes, “Happiness,” then why can’t healthcare have some leeway? Obviously, we aren’t soothsayers and we can’t actually prevent you from dying. But simple, healthy steps to prevent long-term health problems should be marketed, and they should be allowed the same creative license as other brands. Seriously, this N.C. campaign encouraging healthy living pales in comparison to the behavior actors exhibit to look like the gods they portray on camera. But even that was TOO MUCH. The town didn’t want to hear about it.
You can read Gienna’s article here. There’s obviously a challenge to marketing medicine. People are reacting like we’re the fun police, not advocates of longer, more fulfilling lives.