Branding Fear, Sidestepping the True Challenge


Branding Fear, Sidestepping the True Challenge

landscape-342149_640@PearLady brought the latest Life Alert commercial to my attention yesterday. She writes:

"I can’t even get through the darn thing and I’m doing an immediate check afterward. Of course, there’s one good thing about it…I usually shut off the television after hearing the first few seconds, so I save electricity. It’s as if that commercial is orchestrated by Stephen King, on behalf of the eco- energy department of the power company."

The commercial certainly has people talking. The company's Facebook fan page has comments from both those opposed to the commercial's tactic and those who approve. (I've posted the commercial, below.)

The company released a statement about its commercial to, which in part states:

In our business, we consistently hear horror stories of how families procrastinated in getting a Life Alert only to discover their loved one had fallen and was on the floor for hours (sometimes days) before someone found them. They have even complained that our commercials are corny, and NOT SERIOUS ENOUGH, and that our message doesn’t get through. The guilt and fear these families feel after a preventable tragedy is very real and far worse than any commercial.

I watched the commercial with horror, I have to admit. I also believe the company doesn't address another true challenge: Often, it's not the family members don't know about personal emergency response products like Life Alert. It's that many older family members won't use a product like Life Alert.

I think of a family caregiver I met during one of my presentations. He was very concerned about his mom's safety and tried everything he could to ensure her safety. He was aware of all the options, all the products, all the services. The problem? His mom adamantly refused to use any product or service. His question, "How do I get her to use these products?" was met with a response from other attendees that felt very much like an "Amen."

Perhaps procrastination is a problem. Maybe we wait too long to use products like Life Alert. I think the bigger problem, though, is that we don't have the solutions that our carees will use.

We have enough guilt during our days. We really just need more solutions that actually become a useful part of our caree's daily life.

What do you think?

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All I can do at the moment is nod along as I read the post. I'm still not clicking to watch that commercial at this time. I realize the company wants to be taken seriously -- no one likes to be laughed at...laughed with, yes, but not at--; however, they went too far the other way for my taste. As for the product itself, I did know someone that did use it, and it did work well. If you CAN get your caree or client to wear, the product can be a good option in an emergency. (They make them now where you just push a button and talk into a wireless is improving).