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Friday, June 18, 2021

i need somebody
Being a child of the ’70s and ’80s, I was raised to Just Say No to drugs.

But you can make an exception when it’s over-the-counter pharmaceuticals, right? I never was crystal-clear on that whole concept. If so, I’m sure the free samples that Help Remedies just sent me pass muster.

Yep, on the strength of last month’s post about Help’s unique packaging and marketing presentation, the company sent me some freebies. An email from their CEO, Richard Fine, extended the offer and subsequently hooked me up. I had a choice in what to receive; since I don’t have any chronic ailments that need relief, I opted for Help’s preventative measures:

- The help, I’ve cut myself package of 12 large and small bandages

- The help, I have an aching body package of 16 ibuprofen pills

Better safe than sorry, right? I feel compelled to injure myself, just so I can make use of this first-aid windfall. But I’ll keep my self-destructive impulses in check, and likewise keep this minor stash in reserve.

I do appreciate the outreach by Help. Indeed, the unconventional packets are fun to hold and behold, and they conveniently take up minimal space in the medicine cabinet. I have every confidence that their contents will fix me up, whenever I need to crack open their biodegradable shells.

Included with the samples was a thin little booklet that details Help’s business-operating philosophy. I really wish a version of it was online, because it’s a real hoot: Quirky brand messaging that’s reminiscent, in tone, of 19th Century snake-oil medicine sales pitches. Only in Help’s case, it’s utilized to debunk the modern variations of those pitches. Here’s a prime passage:

In the world of drugs and pharmacies there are stories about technologically complicated pills that, after entering your body and gliding aerodynamically down your throat, proceed to detonate and break into thousands of pieces. Those pieces then proceed to seek out the various bodily organs they must attend to, like thousands of tiny intelligent tadpoles (see figure 5-1).

In fact, pills are composed entirely of non-thinking matter, so nothing like this could possibly happen. Our pills are as technologically complicated as a piece of bread.

It’s product language that’s consistent, and adorns Help’s packaging, making for a memorable product. I don’t know if Help really will change the way OTC drugs are marketed toward consumers, but they’re giving it a good go. I still expect to see these little pill-packs spread beyond New York (Help’s home turf, right out of their Broadway HQ), and into the Targets of the world.

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 06/18/2010 08:17am
Category: Business, Creative, New Yorkin', Science
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