The Constitution of Pharmaceutical Advertisers.
BY ANDREW GALL
We the companies of pharmaceutical advertisers in the United States, in order to form a more perfect and consistent advertising medium for our drugs, do ordain and establish this Constitution.
1. Visuals in advertisements shall feature smiling actors after their “problem” has been identified and corrected. For example, a man who has successfully relieved his hypertension with Product X shall smile while riding his lawnmower across a 12-acre yard. This shows that he enjoys his life despite his hypertension thanks to the wonderful new drug he is taking.
2. Steps shall be taken to ensure the medical condition discussed is as harmless-sounding as possible. Abbreviating medical conditions in benign, shorthanded ways, like FLAIR for Fluid Attenuated Inversion Recovery, PEA for Pulseless Electrical Activity, and BOOP for Bronchiolitis Obliterans Organizing Pneumonia are examples of the perfect “advertising solve” for volatile subject matter. Plus, people love abbreviating things.
3. When the subject matter in an advertisement is related to sexual activity, all metaphors for sexual activity shown shall be simple, yet appealing, like a football going into a tire, a man fixing the sail of a ship, or a man and a woman entering their bedroom while smiling.
4. Similarly, when it comes to discussions of a sexual nature, use of verbal metaphors like “staying in the game,” “getting in the zone,” “getting it done,” and “you’re an impressive specimen of manhood” shall all be considered for use in the advertisement.
5. Depictions of men chopping wood, playing golf, going for a jog in wind pants, nailing shingles onto the roof of a house, or doing other “guy” things shall be used when selling a drug related to a man’s potentially emasculating nature. Depictions of women twirling in summer dresses, twirling in summer dresses while smelling a flower, going for a jog in wind pants, and twirling in summer dresses while holding an adorable baby shall be used when selling a drug related to a woman’s lady parts.
6. For most other pharmaceutical advertisements, adults shall be shown participating in carefree activities with acoustic guitar music playing in the background. Possible vignettes include:
- A man and a woman sharing an ice cream cone
- A man and a woman putting mustard on a hot dog
- A man and a woman petting cats
- A man and a woman jumping aimlessly and joyfully
7. When the subject matter of the pharmaceutical advertisement is of the cognitive or emotional variety animation is encouraged. This is because serious medical conditions, like depression, can be easily explained away through whimsical cartoons and music.
8. Advertisements for medical conditions that are more nebulous should depict people walking aimlessly in alternative, surreal worlds in which they are surrounded by wheat, boulders, sunshine, or clouds.
9. All legalese and disclaimer copy included in every pharmaceutical advertisement shall last twice as long as the rest of the advertisement.
10. During the lengthy list of side effects, a man, a woman and a dog waking on the beach at sunset shall be shown. When especially lengthy legal copy is being read, have the man throw the dog a Frisbee, or the woman pick up a shell and show it to the man, or the dog barking and the man and the woman giddy with laughter because they love their silly dog and the wonderful new drug they are taking.
Done in convention at the Hilton San Diego Resort & Spa by the unanimous consent of the pharmaceutical executives present in the year of our lord two thousand and fourteen.
SUGGESTED READSList: Ad Slogans That Would Be Perfect for Levitra, But, Unfortunately, They Have Already Been Used
by Hart Seely (6/21/2005)
Monologue: I Should Get the First Lifeboat Because I Am In Advertising
by Brian Cullen (3/13/2014)
Notes on Your Banner Ad Copy for Medicated Wipes
by Jeff Johnson (7/24/2014)
RECENTLYSentient Cloud of Poisonous Gas Seeks Companion
by Sam Shelstad (2/27/2015)
Open Letters: An Open Letter to Women Who Shame Catcalling
by Wendy Litner (2/27/2015)
List: Existentialist Quotes for Social Media Platforms
by Jim Sabataso (2/27/2015)
POPULARList: What a Straight Man’s Favorite Musical Says About Him
by Mara Wilson (2/10/2015)
Reasons You Were Not Promoted That are Totally Unrelated to Gender
by Homa Mojtabai (1/27/2015)
Jamie and Jeff’s Birth Plan
by Paul William Davies (12/26/2012)