'What's the drug for?' and other interesting commercials

There are myriad commercials for prescription drugs. Since we don’t need any of them, it’s not important; but we never know what the drug is for. They say when the commercial starts, and then never mention what it’s for again. So even if the commercial is interesting, we don’t know what it’s about. Also: I imagine the precautions in every drug commercial to include ‘Dying horribly may occur.’

DoorDash has a commercial about delivering for ‘unexpected occasions’. I little girl’s pet fish (Mr. Bubbles) has died. She stands holding the fishbowl, with her mother standing behind her. A DoorDash bag falls onto the lawn, carrying a hand shovel, tissues, and a doughnut. The little girl is sad about her fish as dad lays it to rest in the yard, in what appears to be the doughnut box. Her little brother happily eats the doughnut. In my mind, I can see the little boy thinking, ‘Hm. Sister’s pet died, and I get a really big doughnut. I can’t wait until she gets a new pet that dies “unexpectedly”. Mwahahahaha!’

There’s another commercial I saw last night, of which I had a twisted interpretation; but I don’t remember what it was?

Rule of thumb:
If there’s a commercial for it, you don’t need it.

With drug commercials, under the regulations, they have two choices: They can tell you what the drug does, in which case they also need to tell you all of the side effects. Or they can skip the side effects by not telling you what it does. Sometimes they do tell you everything (especially when they think that the side effects might be perceived positively, like “erections lasting for more than four hours”), and sometimes they tell you nothing (but usually try to at least imply what the drug does).

For the drug commercials that do list the side effects, it’s done in a muted voiceover with happy music playing and the medicated person doing all kinds of wonderful fun things because the drug has improved the quality of their life so much-- kayaking, paddleboarding, participating in a play in the park, planting flowers, playing with the kids, having dinner with family, etc. All to artfully distract from “symptoms may include diarrhea, constipation, rectal bleeding, tremors, paralysis, depression, thoughts of suicide, liver damage, loss of memory, hot flashes, cold flashes, itchy, burning rashes, etc.”

More on this premise, making one wonder just how easily manipulated this one is (ie, doesn’t everybody know what Ozempic does ??):


The ads we see state the name and what it’s for at the beginning, then say the benefits followed by the warnings. But they never mention the name again.

Nope. I’d have to google it.

Huh, OK, that is weird. Most of the drug ads I see seem to consist primarily of the drug name repeated over and over.

I misspoke.

They continually say the name. But they only say what it’s for once, at the beginning.

So I know the name ‘Ozempic’, for example, and even the first part of their jingle; but I don’t know what it’s for.

A Sonobello commercial features a ‘Board-Certified plastic surgeon’.

I hear it as ‘bored, certified plastic surgeon’.

So, it’s a surgeon that’s certified plastic?

I assume that’s a step down from being certified platinum or gold.

They’re genuine plastic.

Yeah, but it may reduce the ugly appearance of toenail fungus, so what’s to worry?

I want one of these drugs, I want the one where I get a big jolly family and woofy dog to scamper down the beach with. Beloved spouse holding my hand, grandkids capering in the surf, dog fetching a stick, bright and sunny and breezy. For Christ sake, give me one of those drugs! I’ll take my chances and keel over later.

One that won’t make you nervous? Wondering what to do?

Like in my favorite warning, “Don’t take Ozempic if you’re allergic to Ozempic.”

‘How do I know if I’m allergic to it?’

‘Try it and find out. Unless you’re allergic.’

It’s like the story of the three inner city kids who find $30 on the ground. They each take one of the $10 bills & run to the store. The first one buys $10 worth of candy. The second one buys $10 worth of soda; he explains because he isn’t allowed to have it at home. The third one buys a box of Tampax. When he walks outside to the other two they question his purchase. His response is. “Didn’t you see the commercials, with this I can go horseback riding, rock climbing, go to the beach, & lots of other fun things.”

The more incessantly an ad runs, the more I try to deliberately misinterpret it, if only to preserve sanity.

There was one a while ago that opened with a woman browsing in a craft store.
Narration: “Alice is living with metastatic breast cancer.” At this point in the commercial, she happens to check her phone, and the background image shows a cat.

Conclusion: Metastatic Breast Cancer is the name of her cat.

And this reinterpretation brings delightful imagery to the rest of the commercial. “Metastatic Breast Cancer can be relentless. But I can be relentless too.”

“I didn’t choose to have Metastatic Breast Cancer.” Aww, the cat chose her!

On this side of the Atlantic, we (mercifully) don’t have ads for prescription drugs. We do, however, get a leaflet with the drug that describes all the contra-indications. This is often a lengthy list and I very much doubt that more than 5% of recipients read them.

We do get the Tampax ads, wonder cosmetics that will make you irresistible to whoever you want to be irresistible to, cream that will make you look like a mature actress who has had years of expensive surgery, and others that I disremember.