Fluzone and The Fuzzy Animal
“A critter with a necktie is memorable.”
I am not quite sure what that cute little animal is in the Fluzone ad. Is he a hedgehog, porcupine or some new species of spiny large rodent? Whatever he is, Fluzone has gone for a rather unorthodox creative treatment for a DTC ad. Not quite Abe Lincoln and the beaver as in the Rozerem ads of 2006 but close. This little guy is pitching the needle used in the flu vaccine, which is 90% smaller in needle size.
I have gotten flu shots the last few years and I do not know the brand they use. I can say they were painless so they must be using a thin needle. I just got a shingles vaccine and that one hurt like hell so I guess it was 10 times larger. If you are needle phobic as I am, then trust me and get the flu shot as it is painless.
Now back to the little prickly-skinned animal in the ad. He is shown auditioning for a Fluzone ad and reads copy about the smaller needle. He then goes to a salon for a haircut and asks for 90% shorter. Normally I do not advise oddball critters for drug ads but I have to say it works in this case. Something about a critter with a necktie is memorable. For the main claim of thinner needles, the critter with a coat of prickly needles makes sense. Sanofi, maker of Fluzone, has created a memorable character which I am sure translates well into print and the web. After all, one would much more likely stop to read a print ad with the cute character versus the standard middle aged smiling couple in most DTC print ads.
Given that few people will ask for a flu vaccine by name I must assume Sanofi dominates the flu vaccine market. Sanofi knows it will get its fair share of those getting vaccinated who are afraid of painful shots. This commercial is designed to take fear out of the flu shot and touting the painless aspect is quite smart. I avoided flu shots for years but my wife made me get one a few years ago. I got it at my local Publixs in front of the deli counter. I am not sure who gave me the shot because it was an assembly line. I assume it was not the deli slicer who gave it but he might be as qualified as anyone else. He is excellent at slicing my lean pastrami. Anyway, once I found it did not hurt at all I returned for several more.
Price is not a barrier as Medicare pays for the shot. I am not on Medicare but it only cost me $20. Painless and $20 is a winning combo. I last had the flu in college and never want to have that experience again. Fluzone and the little critter make a good argument for broad interest in getting the vaccine.
Bob Ehrlich, Chairman
DTC Perspectives, Inc.