PM360 Focus on Marketing Strategy 2024

Sonic branding is a proven way to motivate your target. But not the careless way many DTC marketers are using it. Music can work wonders. I was part of the agency that helped United Airlines adopt Rhapsody in Blue as their sonic signature. The score fit the brand perfectly. Gershwin’s glorious overture made you feel that travel is a sophisticated adventure.

Just the opposite is happening in the wave of DTC campaigns that employ musical branding. Most offensive are the Jardiance commercials. Each spot is a music and dance number where a large cast and a portly heroine sing about “the little pill with a big story to tell.” The big story is about managing your type 2 diabetes and heart disease. It’s a hokey, energetic mess of a spot whose choreography tries to distract you from the fair balance, a tactic sure to make a brand seem less trustworthy.

I’m all for having fun in advertising, but even more for style, taste, and relevance. Viewers are not the fools cynical marketers think they are. We need to communicate the benefits of our medications in ways that don’t embarrass the brand or the target.