Sometimes shorter ads are not only less effective than longer ones, but even harmful. If you don’t explain yourself listeners can draw the wrong conclusions. Case in point the following rant based solely on the information contained in one radio ad. I was totally wrong but I’d have never known it if I hadn’t taken the time to do the research or the ad was longer than fifteen seconds.
Would you equate the desire for a safe place to sleep with the desire for a safe night’s sleep? There’s a new Tylenol PM radio ad that tries. A serious female voice states that everyone deserves to have a safe place to sleep. Hmmm, it’s a public service announcement for the homeless. She then asserts that everyone deserves to sleep safely and Tylenol PM lets you get a good night’s sleep safely. “Stop, Think - Tylenol.”
The ad rubbed me the wrong way. Let’s change the slogan slightly “Stop and Think Tylenol.” If the members of the ad’s creative team learned about Abraham Maslow’s “Hierarchy of Needs” in college, they forgot most of it.
Foods, water and shelter are the most basic human “needs,” followed by safety, belonging, self-esteem and self-actualizing. About 10% of the American population is only concerned with fulfilling basic needs - having enough food, water, and shelter to survive.
Judging from the extraordinary amount of advertising for sleep aids and mattresses a large percentage of American’s are concerned about sleeping better, but I don’t believe that a majority of homeless people give a rip about the benefits of Tylenol PM. The analogy is confusing at best and insensitive to the homeless.
If they haven’t already, the makers of Tylenol PM should establish a foundation dedicated to the eradication of homelessness in America. Perhaps, if everyone had a safe place to sleep, maybe we could all sleep more soundly.
Well they have (sort of). McNeil Consumer & Specialty Pharmaceuticals, maker of Tylenol is supporting Bright Spaces for Homeless Children project. A simple addition would have made a much more powerful ad.