Sunday, 06 April, 2003

The Purple Pill?

What the heck is this "purple pill" I keep hearing about on the radio?  For months now I've been hearing these stupid radio advertisements:

Announcer: Do you know about Nexium, "the purple pill?"
Voice 1: I know!
Voice 2: I know!
Voice 3: I'm sure glad I know!
Announcer: meaningless dialog
Announcer: Ask your doctor if Nexium is right for you, or call 1-800-PurplePill for more information.

Total time 30 seconds.  Information gleaned:  there's a purple pill called Nexium and some people are happy that they know about it.  Maybe it's a happy pill?

What kind of idiotic advertising is this?  Are there really people out there listening to the radio in the hope that they'll discover another drug?  It sounds like the announcer is advertising to an audience of junkies who are looking for the next new experience.  I don't know about most people, but I'm certainly not going to walk into my doctor's office and say, "Hey, doc.  I heard about this Purple Pill on the radio and was wondering if you could prescribe it for me.  What's it do, anyway?"  Purple Pill my ear.  It sounds like some new type of hallucinogen.

This and similar advertisements play to our society's "I have a problem, fix me now" mentality.  There's a pill for everything.  A little downer to help you sleep, a little upper to get you going in the morning.  Antacids to settle your stomach after eating something you knew better than to eat, and preventative antacids that you take before you eat foul garbage so that you won't get heartburn.  Stimulants and anti-depressants to zombify children so parents don't have to do any real parenting.  Magical weight loss aids that melt away pounds while you sleep.  Miracle creams that grow things that don't need to grow and shrink things that don't need to shrink.  And "natural" supplements that cure all manner of ills, make you smarter, cure toenail fungus, regrow hair, cure bad breath, and help you live to be 120 years old with perfect health and all your marbles.

I really need to get into this racket.  People are willing to throw hundreds of billions of dollars a year away on products that have absolutely no basis in scientific fact.  If they're so willing to part with their money, maybe I can give them some false hope, too.