Ever feel like you’re living in The Truman Show and every ad you see is geared directly at you? While we know that this is becoming more and more true with targeted online ads, it still never fails to freak me out when I am merrily going about my business, and suddenly the promoted tweet at the top of my feed is for something I desperately need at that very moment.
As a lifelong migraine-sufferer, a recent tweet from Excedrin had me looking over my shoulder for the candid camera.
Knowing I had a headache coming on, I decided to get all of my computer-related work out of the way. When I logged into Twitter, the first thing I saw was this:
— Excedrin® (@Excedrin) April 17, 2013
“Me,” I thought, “done deal.” But then, in my migraine-induced half-conscious brain fog, I began to over-analyze Excedrin’s question. Why vote for who is most deserving? Sweet merciful heaven, is there a shortage and this is their way of rationing? Or, even worse, is this some sort of Joker-style social experiment to expose the dark underbelly of our society that would label certain people undeserving of pain relief? Fortunately, it was at this point that the rational, as-of-yet-unaffected-by-migraine part of my brain told me it was time to go to bed.
Once I had emerged from my twelve-hour headache hibernation, I decided to check out (with a clear mind) how migraines could be made into a sweepstakes.
Excedrin’s Facebook page describes the contest this way: “While many headache sufferers look to Excedrin for relief, we’re searching for those who need it the most! Sixteen groups of headache sufferers are going head-to-head and your votes determine ‘Who Deserves Excedrin The Most.’ Each vote also enters you for a chance to win daily e-gift cards or a 7-day getaway for two to Jamaica! Sweepstakes begin April 10th – terms and conditions apply.”
The head-to-head (har har) match-ups include groups of people like drivers with kids in the back seat vs. parents raising teenagers, and stressed-out college kids pulling all-night study sessions vs. people waiting in line at the DMV — All legitimately head-splitting scenarios.
Pretty clever, if you ask me. It’s not easy to market an over-the-counter pain reliever in many ways besides “You’re in pain; we can help,” but this sweepstakes manages to engage headache sufferers in a humorous, entertaining, and potentially rewarding contest. Rather than encouraging us to feel sorry for ourselves as a group of sad, pain-riddled people hiding in dark rooms (as most migraine-related ads do), this campaign urges us to to see the humor in the situation and count ourselves among other hard-working, sense-of-humor-having, life-living people. And just in case you’re not convinced migraines can be an amusing topic, Exedrin tapped comedian Molly Shannon to prove it to you.
This all leaves me with one question, though: who needs Excedrin more — a father at a boyband concert or a PR professional dealing with a Lindsay Lohan-scale image crisis? Discuss.