July 14, 2014

But How Do I Create Demand?

Assuming you are the only person on the planet who watches live television and pays attention to commercials, you know all about prescription drug ads. They go a little something like this:

Woman: "Like you, I live an active lifestyle".

We see images of this woman as she participates in a bike race, dances at a wedding, and scoots to a meeting she is hosting as Vice President at a major corporation.

Woman: "But when I started experiencing calf cramps on a regular basis, I became concerned."

We see an image of the woman, sitting on a bench in a park, holding her calf, experiencing excruciating pain, while another professional woman runs by the bench, unaffected by calf cramps.

Woman: "That's when my Doctor told me about Zimbamby. After taking just three doses of Zimbamby, my symptoms went away."

We see images of the woman, in her post-Zimbamby glee, climbing Mt. Hood with her husband and a sherpa. She looks at the retreat of a glacier at 8,400 feet, lamenting the damage being done to the planet by climate change, pointing out to her husband and the sherpa where the glacier used to be just 100 years ago. A narrator voices over the images.

Narrator: "Consult your physician about Zimbamby. Side effects may include nose bleeds, sudden drooling, toe cramps, eyebrow twitches, ear ringing, meningitis, gingivitis, leg hair loss, rapid arm hair growth, nausea, insatiable appetite, acne, possible ligament and/or tendon damage, sneezing, rapid chewing, rotator cuff damage, growth of additional vertebrae, and vertigo. Know the risks, understand the benefits."

After the woman summits Mt. Hood, we see her walking down the mountain, taking business calls on her mobile phone. Her husband and the sherpa are a good quarter mile behind her, and look winded. The woman stops in front of the camera.

Woman: "I couldn't have reached the summit without Zimbamby. Neither can you!"

The sun sets behind Mt. Hood. The woman, her husband, and the sherpa stop to take in all of the beauty of Northern Oregon.

That, ladies and gentlemen, is how you create demand. An industry that is federally mandated to tell the customer how the customer might suffer after using a drug is able to somehow increases sales and profit, is somehow able to introduce new products that you never knew you needed.

If the pharmaceutical industry can create demand while telling you how you might suffer from the product they are selling you, don't you think that you, selling simple widgets, can create demand?