You’ve probably seen one of Prestiq’s commercials by now. Each time I do, I am deeply disturbed by them.
Okay – this is supposed to be a commercial for an anti-depressant. But this lady does not look happy. She barely looks conscious. The impression I get watching this commercial is that if you take Prestiq, it won’t help with your depression. It will simply make you so incredibly numb you won’t care anymore.
You know how your batshit-crazy sister in law complained that her meds made her feel like a zombie? That appears to be the benefit they’re pushing here: Take Prestiq, and you will be as dependably docile as a wind up toy. And oh hey! Here’s a wind up toy to illustrate the point.
And even the toy isn’t smiling!
I get that they don’t want to come out and say, “take this medication and you’ll be doing cartwheels and singing all the songs from ‘Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.'” That’s usually the kind of promise products avoid when they can’t deliver on it.
The line, “Prestiq is thought to work” is particularly suspect. You don’t know how your product works? It’s a drug! I’m not feeling very confident about this if you don’t even know how it works.
I suppose if you’re really so far gone with depression, that’s good enough. What they’re shooting for is you may not end up happy, but at least you’ll get out of bed so you can go to work and stop crying all the time.
And as I said, the campaign’s been running for a couple of years now, so I have to assume it’s working at selling their happy pills – wait, no, their not unhappy pills. That suggests to me they really know how to talk to the medically dejected. If that’s the case, this becomes one of the smartest commercials of all time. It simply shows the rest of us how little hope needs to be promised to get sufferers of depression to cling to it.
It also says they aren’t concerned with people, just getting them to go to work. Prestiq isn’t about solving depression, but making people productive for their bosses, family or friends. It’s rather like giving a gunshot victim a new drug that doesn’t stop internal bleeding, but does keep them from leaking on the floor, which is so annoying and unfair to everyone else.
To me, that’s depressing.