Medications in American society are seen as “saviors” and “normalizers”. It’s almost becoming so mainstream that one is considered abnormal or weird if one isn’t one at least one medication whether it be for bodily health of psychological health. Everyone has ups and downs and when you account for biological variance between individuals, no two people will ever experiences the same thoughts, feelings, and emotions or even biological reactions to the same experiences. When there is a self-perceived in congruency with the self-perceived or even culturally accepted “perfect” individual then people may be more willing to gravitate to a medication that would help amplify their health, daily experiences, or even normalize their self-perceived shortcomings.
In this Cymbalta ad, you can see both a man and woman suffering from depression. Their symptoms are of course real, no one who has ever had depression is confused about whether or not they have it. Since there is a perceived disconnect between how the person is feeling and how that person’s ideal image should be feeling, this would lead them to want to alleviate their symptoms by taking a medication.
Culturally and socially speaking, you can see how the man and woman were interacting more lovingly and intimately with their families (all under the assumption of course that they are on Cymbalta). The man is rough-housing and playing with his children and the woman is kissing her father on the check. So it is expected that people be warm, open, and sometimes playful with those in their most-inner social circle.
In terms of presentation of the medical information, the soft voice in the background is telling you all of the symptoms of depression while showing the ad is showing people who are tired, sad, weighed-down and looking off listlessly into the distance. As soon as the voice starts talking about all that the medication can do for you, it immediately starts showing images of people perking up and flashes to other people enjoying their lives camping with their family, appreciating the outdoors, etc.
There is no doctor in this ad, but it does slide in that phrase, “ask your doctor if Cymbalta is right for you.”
Overall, this ad makes the consumer feel as is Cymbalta is the only way they will get their life back and achieve some form of normalcy. By showing all these images of people just standing around and feeling weighed-down, depressed individuals watching these ads will of course gravitate and perk up to pay attention thinking that the advertisement is speaking directly to them. I do love how in the beginning it showed an old video camera reel of what was supposed to be memories long since passed. That is something that depressed individuals do which is ruminate about the past and long for happy times again. It really cut down deep to the core of what it means to be an individual suffering from depression