What Can Hemorrhoids Teach Us About Advertising?

Telling the truth isn’t that simple in advertising. It’s not that desirable either. We don’t want the truth. Because the truth isn’t all that interesting. Which is why stories laced with “truthiness” seem to do so well. We’d rather have it “based on a true story” that represents the values most important to us.

Then there’s Preparation H.

These folks have a refreshing idea represented in their “Get comfortable with it” campaign from a few years ago.

This was shot in early 2016 in Kiester, Minnesota. (Who knew?)

I’m a fan of this campaign for 3 reasons.

  1. They pack a great “story” in 15 luxurious seconds. There’s a beginning, middle and end. It’s not predictable so the punchline is welcomed with a smile.
  2. The rapid change of imagery keeps the piece moving. This keeps me engaged as my brain is trying to keep up. Instant attention. (It’s a nifty trick you should try in your ads.)
  3. They approach an awkward personal problem in a way that challenges you without alienating you. They say what you and I are thinking. Having hemorrhoids is no fun (according to public opinion) but talking about it won’t turn you to stone. And why aren’t you doing something about it?

If you suffer from hemorrhoids, you also suffer from the stigma. Even though nobody else knows. This campaign takes a difficult topic and diffuses it with smart humor. Talking about hemorrhoids becomes fun instead of embarrassing or discouraging. The support material on the website increases your knowledge in an entertaining way as well. You come away realizing it’s more common than you think so you don’t have to feel weird.

This campaign is good for creating relatedness with the public and the product. This is good for the long game for Preparation H. It’s good for advertising, too. Kudos to the team that imagined this.

(We’ll be breaking down our favorite ads here on occasion. Have an idea for an ad you’d like us to dissect? Just email your suggestions to cabinboy@ofthesea.com)