Let’s look at health-related copywriting.

A telly ad I didn’t understand has prompted me to write about it. I’m talking about that shingles ad. “Get to know shingles because shingles knows you.” I think it says. I’ve seen it loads of times and yet I still have no idea what it’s trying to tell me. I THINK it’s about directing people to this website https://www.understandingshingles.co.uk/I THINK.

I also think it’s one of the weakest health-related telly ads I’ve ever seen. It doesn’t really tell us anything at all. When you’ve got a limited time to capture attention you need to really choose your words. This is a wasted use of words and so a wasted use of an ad slot in my opinion.

Compare and contrast with two other health-related telly ads.

Holland and Barratt has a cracking new ad out about the menopause. It really grabbed my attention with real-life women talking in their own words about the menopause. Then there’s a really strong message about visiting your nearest Holland and Barrat and talking with a trained menopause adviser. Side note I had a Victoria Wood comedy sketch worthy menopausal meltdown in a Holland and Barratt when I very loudly and irritatedly (tired and irritable is a very real menopause/perimenopause symptom) shared my symptoms in desperation for some herbal help. And, the lovely woman in there was incredibly patient and helpful. In fact I’m now imaging scores of women replicating this scenario, and at least they now know they will be treated with empathy by trained staff. 

I would also like to highlight the new Nurofen telly ad which recognises and highlights the gender pain gap. That’s the first telly ad I’ve ever seen on it. Bravo. It’s a tad needling that this is from a company that markets a range of period pain products which I think are the same ingredients as standard pain care but with a higher £ss.

Marketing is not an exact science – it’s a sum of the parts thing, but making your words count matters.

When you watch a telly ad and you have more questions than answers  (one of my top maybe 50 tunes) then there’s something amiss. And when it comes to health marketing it matters even more to get your words right.