...don't even ignore 'em.
-- Samuel Goldwyn

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Music power.

It continues to amaze me, though I know it well--the power of music to bypass intellect and proceed directly to the emotions. I continue to see a steady stream of Web searchers hitting this site, looking for the name of the music on the Cymbalta commercials--the "depression hurts" campaign. It's so familiar, they say, those who comment about it--which doesn't necessarily mean you've heard it before.

The latest visitor to comment on my Cymbalta posts, Phyllis, says she thinks she knows what it is--she believes its a classical piece used in the soundtrack of Sophie's Choice, the movie of William Styron's haunting novel, one of his masterpieces. Phyllis said she was going to get her album out and listen. I hope she figured it out, and I hope I hear from her again.

But, let me make a point, in the spirit of this blog: Ad agencies and advertisers use powerful appeals to all the senses, and all emotions--depression is heartbreaking, and Lilly and its ad agency haven't held back in using emotion to plant Cymbalta in your mind, even if you think you're mostly focused on the music. Why is that right, when it's supposed to be your doctor's dispassionate decision--which medicine is "right for you?" And...do you think doctors see TV commercials?

I'm not confident we could put direct-to-consumer pharmaceutical advertising back in the medicine bottle. We can try to be aware that advertising doesn't improve products, and emotional attachment is the wrong basis for choosing an antidepressant. Especially a remedy for an emotional pathology.

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