July 6 - NOT BUYING IT: Today in Bad Ads

Monday, July 6, 2009 | |

So this one is a classic, as far as revolting wastes of minutes go. You've probably seen it a million times. It's for Cymbalta, a drug used to treat physical pain resulting from depression. But just to really convince you, Eli Lilly would like to make sure that you remember the psychological part of the disease.

The original commercial (not the one embedded below) asks, "Where does depression hurt? Everywhere. Who does depression hurt? Everyone". It's a creepy call and response, using adorable children and whimpering dogs to exploit feelings of guilt that people with depression tend to be hard-wired for. Seeking treatment for mental disease because it's affecting others certainly may lead to a prescription, but it represents a mindset that doesn't promise a lot of willingness to seek help for the benefit of oneself (which in my experience, due to the power of the mind, can render any drug or therapy ineffective). The commercial seems to encourage giving into feelings of guilt over someone acknowledging "Hey, the chemicals in your brain are doing crazy things to your behavior. Here's an option!".

Basically, I'm not entirely sure what purpose any commercial for depression serves, other than making people aware of the disease. Chances are, finding the right treatment does not involve channel surfing to find some wonderdrug that your trained, professional doctor is unaware of. This seems as obvious as that intelligent questions that some other ads for secondary depression treatments ask, "Did you know that 2 out of 3 people being treated for depression still feel symptoms? WHAT??? Noooo. It can't be. Have some more! Yes, we are implying that if you just take this stuff it will ALL go away. Because that's possible".
It ain't all sunshine and kittens being treated for depression, even pharmaceutical companies should be responsible enough to refrain from portraying it as such. Because, you know, those unstable people they're fishing for might be a little disappointed.