Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Rozerem Ads Dis Lincoln, Show Beaver

I'm trying to figure out the thinking behind the new DTC (direct to consumer) ad campaign for Rozerem, the new sleep aid pill brought to market by Takeda. The ads feature Abraham Lincoln and a beaver. I find the ads disturbing, although they do stand out from the crowd of sleep aid ads -- a space growing more crowded every day.

I first saw the Lincoln/beaver ad in print format (see figure below).


This 2-page spread appeared in a recent issue of Prevention magazine. I don't get the dream imagery, unless Abe and beav are inviting me to jump rope! Leaving the purpose of the image aside for now, the ad is unique in the amount of space devoted exclusively to the image (labeled "A" in the figure). An astounding 81% of the ad space (not including the 2-page package insert portion of the ad, which is not shown here) is devoted to the graphic! This is the highest image percentage of any Rx print ad among the 50 or so that I have looked at -- Lunesta came in second at 79% (is it a coincidence that both these ads are for sleep aids?). The average is about 46%, which is still a considerable area to devote to images. But that is what advertising is all about - imagery. Information -- such as benefit and risk information -- is secondary. In the Rozerem print ad, only a miniscule 4% is devoted to benefit information (labeled "B" in the figure) and 6% is devoted to fair balance (ie, the risks).
[Lunesta ads are not much better. In the Prevention ad for Lunesta, 12% of the ad space is devoted to benefits and 5% to risks. The average for the 53 ads that I studied is 20% and 12%, respectively].
The paucity of space devoted to risk information in these ads is amazing considering that advertising agencies are petitioning the FDA to further limit the space devoted to risk information in DTC ads of all types (for more on this, see " DTC Without the Risk" and "Communicating Risk: Let the Dialog Begin"). These "communication experts" argue that too much risk information will "confuse" people or scare them away from beneficial treatment options. Of course, Abe Lincoln playing jump rope with a beaver couldn't possibly confuse or scare anyone!


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Why Lincoln?

Lincoln is an icon for "telling the truth" and a study by the University of Chicago Medical Center reveals that Lincoln may have suffered from bouts of depression, anxiety and insomnia. He was taking a medication common at that time for depression, known as "Blue Mass." Good enough, I suppose for a drug image icon -- beats a lunar moth!


Why Beaver?

But why the beaver? I haven't got a clue. All I know, back in the day when I designed pharmaceutical sales training programs, political correctness forbade the use of "beavers" in any graphic.
I designed a board game, for example, in which a beaver navigated through obstacles like rivers, etc. to reach a goal. Sales reps helped the beaver by answering questions correctly. Cool idea, especially considering the use of interactive animation. However, the beaver was politically incorrect -- as was the overweight Samoan -- and we had to lose the tail and make it into some kind of gopher-like animal. I'll never forget that.

One thing I have to say, Takeda's ad agency is consistent in integrating print, TV, and Web advertising -- at least as far as the imagery is concerned. The Lincoln/beaver thing is integral to the TV ad -- I saw the tail end of one for the first time last night -- and the Web site as well as the print ads. Here's what the home page of the Rozerem Web site looks like:


This Web site takes interactive animation/video to a new level. It evens features downloadable TV ads and podcasts -- both of which I couldn't use (Windows could not figure out what application to run to view/hear these and the site doesn't offer any help; I doubt many consumers will bother with them).


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The man, Lincoln, and the beaver all entice you to click on them and other parts of the image -- like the tea kettle -- to get more information. Cute. But after awhile it gets boring and repetitive.

BTW. I missed this at first, but take a close look at this detail of the Web site homepage image. Notice anything peculiar aside from Lincoln and the beaver?

The clock says it's twenty minutes to eight! The guy is supposed to be suffering from insomnia -- it should be 3 or 4 am in the morning! So, what's with the clock?

It's real time! How do they do that? Why would they do that?
In one scene, pictured above, the guy asks you to click on the message board to get a coupon for a prescription rebate. Lincoln responds with a rapper shtick -- crosses arms, says "Oh Yeah! It's all about the Linkage!" Get it? Linkage/Lincoln? My son can probably relate to this, but not me. Unfortunately, not too many teenagers I know suffer from insomnia (what's the opposite of insomnia?). So why is Lincoln rappin'? This may be even more politically incorrect than the beaver!

Takeda, respectful of PhRMA's Guiding Principles for DTC advertising, waited a full year after the FDA approved Rozerem to launch its DTC ad campaign. Perhaps it should have taken a little more time to think it through.

78 comments:

  1. Anonymous9:28 AM

    OK. I just visited the website - haven't seen the print or TV versions. The beaver is freaking me out. I might just have nightmares tonight thinking about it. I agree - they should have thought about this a little more before launching this campaign. Then again, maybe in a crowded sleep market they are looking for something different to create buzz. However, as you pointed out, the market that will think this is cool/funny/hip is probably not in need of insomnia medication. I am!

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  2. Anonymous2:28 PM

    The photo seems to me to be some ad person's notion of what constitutes a Freudian dream, which tells me how hokey is the thinking of some ad people.

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  3. Anonymous2:48 PM

    I don't like the talking beaver either, but its use seems obvious to me (as a male) -- the guy dreams about "beaver," aka sex. It's exactly the politically incorrect interpretation John alludes to. And yeah, it's pretty hokey when you think about it. Too clever by half. What's next, a train?

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  4. Man. You are on a ROLL!

    Talk about upping the ante on great headlines!

    I'm gonna have to seriously up my game.

    Cheers.

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  5. Anonymous8:36 PM

    I saw the ad at first time, I couldn't know what it explains. It doesn't show the clear message to consumer, they should imgage what it is. Why did they use Lincoln...?
    Also, it has very small letters on the Ad, maybe most of consumers just pass the message without reading. I thought we should keep the clear message which is related to consumer's mind because it is not the Ad of fashion products. Consumers want to get the information what they have suffering, also they know how to slove their problem. The product can solve their problem which give the awareness through the AD. In my point of view, it is not the proper Ad to explain and give the awarness.

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  6. fyi, the online ads for Rozerem are equally flaky (albeit memorable and distinctive) -

    http://adverlicio.us/rozerem_they_miss_you_728x90

    Lots more online pharma ads here.

    Enjoy!

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  7. Anonymous8:58 AM

    Hello-

    I believe the ad is doing exactly what it was set out to do. Create awareness and have people remember. You guys sure are talking a lot about it. I say job accomplished.

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  8. Several people have suggested that the ad achieved its purpose -- it created buzz and is noticeable.

    As I commented in the followup post (see http://pharmamkting.blogspot.com/2006/07/dtc-menagerie-bad-buzz.html), the buzz that has been created is so far limited to us marketing professionals. What happens when it gets picked up by the press (where buzz is really generated)? It could lead to "bad buzz", which I don't think the industry needs right now.

    Drug advertisers should spend less time trying to be creative and more time being communicative -- eg, better communicate what's special about Rozerem. IMHO.

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  9. Anonymous8:03 PM

    If we are to stay up wondering about this ad, then at what time do we diagnose ourselves with insomnia and ask for the prescription to...Rozerem? Is this what Takeda wants? The ad is curious for a minute, but seriously, how often will you think about it? If Takeda is betting that insomniacs can remember how to spell and pronounce Rozerem, then John, you are right, Takeda should focus on communicating just how special Rozerem really is for sleep disorders such as insomnia.

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  10. Beaver Lover9:59 PM

    YOu are all kinda dumb....the only thing worth talking about in this commercial is the fact that he dreams about beaver. <---period

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  11. Anonymous12:17 AM

    just a few things to say:
    1)the clock shows real time because people with insomnia are used to looking at clocks and feeling discouraged about how late it is and the fact that they should be sleeping at that time. i think it's brilliant. they probably figure that people will go to the site in the middle of the night, see the current time and realize that they need to get an rx for rozerem so they can stop looking at websites all night long and start sleeping.
    2) to the person who says that they don't focus on what is different/special about rozerem - the new tv ads seem to be all about how it is "non-addictive" etc - they spend about 25 seconds showing the beaver and abe lincoln playing chess in the kitchen and then the other 35 rambling on about not driving heavy machinery and showing text about how it's not habit forming.
    3) i think the beaver and abe lincoln and the astronaut in the background and all the random various games they play are great. it could be a politically incorrect inuendo (the beaver) and if it is - i think it's subtle and clever. if anything it conveys the random bizarreness of dreams, which is what people who can't sleep want. this guys dreams seem silly and carefree - much better than laying awake thinking about his job or his mortgage.

    i think this campaign is funny and interesting and gets its point across.

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  12. What is the point? You never say. Nor do the ads. You mention how much time the ad spends on Abe and the beaver (58% of the allotted time), but not on the core message, which seems to be it's non-additive.

    This could all be an opening salvo for more details to come.

    Regarding the clock -- as I have said before, what insomniac would turn to the Web at 3 AM in the morning? And if they did, they would be reading their e-mail, which is probably the reason why they cannot sleep. Also, this could only be a very TINY segment of their target audience, which I assume they would like to expand, not contract. Third, people are typically driven to product web sites by TV ads. I am sure Takeda doesn't want to spend its TV ad budget for ads that run at 3 or 4 AM in the morning!

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  13. lnepstad1:16 AM

    The first time and every time I see this ad all that I can think about is the fact that prescription sleep aids PREVENT you from DREAMING. If this medication does not then they should mention that in the ad. If it DOES, then the ads are misleading and ridiculous.

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  14. Anonymous3:51 PM

    Well, I don't have a TV anymore, but I was backing up an argument on Usenet and googled to an article on USNEWS, and was intrigued enough by the banner ad with Lincoln and a Beaver on a bicycle built for two that I googled the product name, Lincoln & Beaver and the first link was this here forum, so I guess the ad agency earned it's commission on this one. It doesn't have to make sense, it just has to imprint the brand. Mission accomplished on me.

    -JD

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  15. Anonymous12:30 PM

    The only reason I can see for the Beaver is that if you're "busy as a beaver" you may be sleep deprived and/or have insomnia. I know that when I'm working my tail off (no pun intended), my brain is constantly working and I have trouble sleeping. Regardless, after looking at the website....I am unimpressed. I am not sure whether or not it is informative, because it could not keep my attention long enough for me me find out.

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  16. Anonymous12:59 AM

    I swear I've seen that combination of characters in a Hoyle software package. Does that ring any bells with anyone?

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  17. Cindy Gallop6:39 PM

    In my view this is one of the most impactful and relevant pharmaceutical advertising campaigns to hit the market in recent years. The core idea of 'Your dreams miss you' to direct insomniacs yearning to return to the comfort of sleep and weird, surreal dreams that the rest of us consider normal, as epitomized by the imagery ('I dreamt I was jumping rope with Abe Lincoln and a beaver' - no deeper meaning than a highly compelling evocation of how utterly ridiculous most of our dreams are)is a terrific insight. Kudos to Takeda and their agency Abelson Taylor for being prepared to break industry convention and produce something truly striking, talked about and memorable.

    Cindy Gallop

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  18. Anonymous3:58 AM

    I think Abe is saying, "Aww, yeah, it's all about the Lincolns," as in money, not "linkage." Not sure what linkage is.

    I would hazard a guess that a few months after the Abe/beaver/diver commercials and ads are in the public's awareness, the commercials will start making more "sense."

    Until then, it's defintely striking a different cord than the happy-moth commercials with the hypnotic voiceovers.

    Also, I think that because Rozerem doesn't "drug you up" like other sleep aids do, maybe you actually do dream when on rozerem. I don't know, but it's 3 am, I'm still up, and I should probably try some. :)

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  19. Anonymous12:36 AM

    Regarding the clock - apparently this discussion occurs at breakfast time after a sleepless night!

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  20. If an ad is going to use props of any kind, they should know how to use them. Look at the Chess board - it is not set up correctly. Always the white square is on the right of each player. Things like that distract from the 'message' of the ad.

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  21. Anonymous8:25 PM

    Anyone think the beaver is not a beaver but maybe a ground hog? They sleep all winter maybe that's the poop? As for the deep sea diver that one has me baffled

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  22. Anonymous5:27 PM

    I work for Takeda Pharmaceeticals (Rozerem) and let me explain what the figures in the ad mean. Honest Abe signifies honesty and the beaver signifies hard work and industriousness. The clock shows that if you suffer from insomnia, it doesn't matter what time it is, because you're still awake regardless, and your Sleep-Wake cycle is off-balance. Rozerem is the only prescription based sleep drug that works on different receptors in your brain that allows you to sleep to REM state(dream state) and this is where you want to be for restful sleep. Other drugs like Ambien and Lunesta work different so that your brain often does not get to the dream state.

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  23. Anonymous8:07 PM

    Just as the above writer, I too work for Takeda Pharmaceuticals (Rozerem). The title of the ad campaign is "your dreams miss you". The reason for that is b/c just as mentioned above, Rozerem is the only sleep aid that DOES NOT have a risk of suppressing stages 3,4 and REM (dream) sleep. These stages are imparative to mental restoration. If you suppress these stages, patients are not getting a completely restful night of sleep. They are getting to those stages and restoring their bodies. Also, Rozerem has ZERO risk for abuse or dependency, not just a low risk, NO risk. Everyone has dreams that are strange and the point of the commerical is that Rozerem can take you back to those dreams which so many insomnia patients would love to have. Takeda made this commercial a little bizzare so it would catch a patients attention and they would talk to their doctors about the "new sleep drug commercial". Doctors can then explain how Rozerem is very different from any other sleep aid and explain Rozerem's benefits and how it should be taken. Since everyone is talking about it and analyzing it, obviously they've done their job!

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  24. Hello guys. Glad to hear from you. I'm not sure who you guys really are, but I take your word for the explanation.

    My questioon is, why can't you explain this benefit up fron in the advertising?

    Is it too complex for consumers to understand?

    Or is it that you really have no studies to prove it?

    Just because we are talking about it, doesn't mean that the ad is effective in getting consumers to talk to their doctors to uncover this super secret benefit.

    I'm sure the ad will win awards for creativity and buzz, but is it increasing sales?

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  25. I realize that most of the discussion for the Rozerem TV ad centers around the significance of Abe Lincoln, the Beaver, the clock, the chessboard & the deep sea diver--my contribution concerns the all-night diner scene depicted at the end of the ad--it bears an eerie resemblance to Edward Hopper's painting The Nighthawks from 1942--subliminal suggestion perhaps further reinforcing insomnia?

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  26. Anonymous11:21 AM

    I seem to be in the minority, but I love the TV spot. To me, it just seems to reflect the weird, avant garde nature of dreams. Dreams are full of symbols that don't seem to make any sense at first; personally, I'd love to have a dream where I'm playing poker with Abe Lincoln and a talking beaver (hmmm...poker, beaver...). The ad just struck me as funny. Having said that, I tend to be a bit of an insomniac but it didn't move me to seek out a prescription.

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  27. Sure, we all "love" it and I am sure it will win awards. But it has not sold you on the drug and may not have sold anyone. My case is closed!

    Note: Today driving out of Philly I saw a huge Rozerem reminder ad billboard. It consisted of the Lincoln and Beaver jump rope image and the Rozerem logo -- VERY TINY up ion the corner.

    This kind of reminder ad is the worst of the worst! I almost didn't see the drug name!

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  28. Anonymous7:26 PM

    I love this spot also. It got my attention enough to go to the web and google, tv commercial, abe lincoln, and beaver. I'm glad the employees added comments. I was on the right track that the drug allows you to dream and if you ever remember your dreams they tend to be weird. I love the beaver. I thought the guy making breakfast was a space man, not a diver as others have stated..which is it? I don't need the drug; I have no problem sleeping. If anyone I knew was having trouble then I would surely remember the ad, which is exactly what they want us to do.

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  29. Anonymous9:25 PM

    Maybe I'm the only one, but is it coincidence that Groundhog day is Feb 2nd and Lincoln's birthday is Feb 12th (with President's day a few days later)?

    Wonder if Takeda's formal launch will be in mid February, or if there's going to be some crazy Valentine's day promotion?

    Jaime

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  30. Anonymous11:07 PM

    Where have I seen that guy who plays Lincoln?? Driving me crazy trying to remember

    Mike

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  31. Anonymous7:10 PM

    Beavers cut down trees, Lincoln lived in a log cabin. Coincidence?

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  32. Anonymous11:24 AM

    The ad is all about sex! Lincoln, with his stove pipe hat on is about as close to a talking Phallic symbol as you can get. And the beaver is obviously just that!
    The chess game could be an internal struggle between homo and heterosexual tendencies. The third character in the TV ad is a what appears to be a deep sea diver- (symbolizing going down!!). I do not have an answer on the clock.

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  33. Anonymous10:01 PM

    This high budget campaign seems to offer nothing to the company that is paying for it. The message is cryptic and unclear, the symbol of dreams is unlikely, the nature of the conversation is confusing. If dreams are a product advantage to this sleep aid, then this is totally lost in the ad. I'm all for daring marketing but this campaign does not communicate product benefits, it only irritates.

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  34. Anonymous10:32 PM

    I like the commercial. My husband doesn't understand why. I don't think about hidden messages. I just thought that every guy "dreams" about going into space one day, or being the president and doing it "honestly", and what heterosexual male doesn't dream of having a smart woman at his side game for anything??? I find the commercial quiet and relaxing and easy to relate to concerning insomnia.

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  35. does this dream sequence have a literary reference? this gives me a sense of deja vu. Does anyone else feel that?

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  36. Anonymous8:54 PM

    Come on...Lincoln just represents another dead president (money). The guy is missing his dreams about money and beaver! However, does anybody know why there is a deep sea diver in the background?

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  37. What newspaper is Lincoln reading?

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  38. Anonymous3:10 AM

    Get real - everybody's talking about this ad. I'm only on this site because I googled the product because my friends and I have been talking about the ad! And let's resolve the clock issue right now. When the guy first comes in, he's yawning and scratching. Abe says, "We missed you last night". This indicates that the conversation is obviously taking place in the early morning after a night of tossing and turning. And that's how much impact the commercial has - people can actually quote the lines! I want to know what the beaver is eating.

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  39. Anonymous1:28 PM

    The beaver stands for sex (a womans beaver), Lincoln stands for money. The deep sea diver (not an astronaut) stands for sex also (going down). All male oriented dreams.

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  40. Anonymous5:02 PM

    who is the actor (or the voice over) for Lincoln? He sounds so familiar it's driving me crazy?

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  41. Anonymous8:38 AM

    Astronaut? Diver? I thought the third character was not preparing breakfast (not at the time shown on the clock) but was washing the dishes and was therefore a "pearl diver"; a nickname for a dish washer.

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  42. Anonymous8:43 AM

    When I first saw this ad, I thought "What the...?" But you know, this ad is so bizarre and enticing that I have noticed new things every time I watch it... the beaver (I laughed out loud when it struck me... beaver / sex. Now that's clever!), the clock, the deep sea diver. Has anyone noticed that the beaver and Lincoln look extremely like the insomniac? Maybe it's just my overactive imagination.

    I haven't seen the billboard or magazine ads (only a picture on this website), but I think their use of space is as bizarre and effective as the TV ad. I think this is an extremely well thought-out and creative advertisement. I'm not an insomniac, but I almost want to buy their product to entice them to produce more ads. Kudos!

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  43. Anonymous10:22 PM

    Lincoln is the one with the Tall Hat! He represents the phallic symbol. The Beaver represents the female genitalia. The Diver took me a while…I also kept thinking he was a spaceman. It blew my mind when I figured out he was the Deep Sea diver. A friend claims he saw a razor near the beaver. But I have yet to make out a razor.

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  44. Anonymous4:02 AM

    Please, I need more information on the astronaut/deep sea diver?? what does he mean? The others I can understand... well sort of... but know one has said what this character means!

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  45. It's obvious that I started an avalanche of interpretation of this ad. This is an interesting parlor game, but I am sure that Takeda is not amused as the sales of Rozerem remain flat -- see http://pharmamkting.blogspot.com/2006/10/rozerem-ads-innovatively-ineffectual_26.html

    That being said, onward with more fun in interpreting this innovative but ineffectual ad.

    Let me add this to the discussion:

    The characters in the ad are all MALE and almost every interpretation of the ad involves male sexual fantasies.

    I also note that Rozerem's competitors -- Lunesta and AmbienCR -- depict more women than men as sufferers of insomnia.

    Now, I do not know the demographics of the typical insomnia sufferer, but the Rozerem ad agency chose to ignore any appeal to women, which I think is a big mistake.

    Regardless of whether more women than men suffer from insomnia, women influence the majority of decisions about healthcare in their families.

    When I originally published this post, I said the ad dissed Lincoln. I should have included women as well.

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  46. Anonymous4:53 PM

    Hate to disappoint all of you but there are specific reasons for both Abe and the beaver. Beavers don't sleep at night; they are up all night making damns. Abe Lincoln never slept at night either; he was too busy educating himself, reading etc by candlelight.

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  47. Anonymous2:20 PM

    No good word on the significance of the deep sea diver. Rozeram guys, what does it mean?

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  48. Anonymous10:01 PM

    I totally agree with the an early poster---THEY GOT YA! Look at how much interpretation we are doing. It is ment to get your attention--and it did. It is way better than a blue moth suggesting some kind of amnesic sleep. Ramelton (aka Rozerem) is a town in Ireland, isnt it?

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  49. Well, if you accept that as marketing succes rather than sales, the so be it! The ad is a success. Do you happen to know how sales of Rozerem compared pre-ad vs. post-ad? And can you attribute any difference to the ad or to something else? See the chart.

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  50. Anonymous3:57 PM

    Really! I have seen a guy from West Virginia, a Lincoln Presenter, who looks much more like ol' Abe.

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  51. Does anybody have a link to the picture where the beaver and Lincoln are playing chess and the guy is in the backgroud sitting on the bed? I need it for school

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  52. Anonymous11:12 PM

    ok you fools. i have special knowledge of lincoln's top hat. it's beaver felt. look it up and weep. don't cry for me argentina, because you don't know what i know. suffer in your ignorance.

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  53. Anonymous5:23 PM

    In an old children's story, I can't remember which, there is a Lincoln character with a beaver sidekick. Does anyone remember?

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  54. Anonymous2:36 AM

    Hello all, I have been wondering for a long while and just decided to start researching this commercial. My thing is, the guy in the commercial looks like the older version of the kid who played Allie's son on the sitcom "Kate and Allie" back in the 80's....he was probably around 9 or 10 back then, so thirties isn't a stretch for now. I am trying to find out who the actor is. Anyone have any ideas?

    Thanks!!

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  55. Anonymous1:46 PM

    I personally think there are subliminal messages within these commercials. My son and I were laughing about Abe shooting paper footballs over the beavers head while he read a magazine. Obviously it is intended for the upcoming Superbowl. What bothered me was we used t-vo to go back and show my daughter what we were laughing about.... that night all three of us could not sleep at all. We only discovered this after talking about being tired and having so much difficulty sleeping - falling asleep only to rewake 10 mins later. It's my conclusion that there must be some message in those commercials that causes you to be WIDE AWAKE !!! thus needing their product. Somewhere, somehow THIS is WRONG !!

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  56. The background player is a Deep Sea Diver NOT an Astronaut.

    Has the incongruencies of a dream. They probably read August Strindberg's "Dream Play"

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  57. Anonymous10:02 AM

    I can't believe there is this much heady discussion about a commercial so simple to understand. The spaceman, beaver and Abe Lincoln all signfy what a man dreams about. Spaceman [think about the old movies of spacement]; out in space, disconnected thoughts [he didn't interact with them]; the beaver; sex, men dream about it a lot, and Abe Lincoln; a historical figure, strong, was true to what he believed even though at times, he didn't have a lot of support.
    They all are implications of what goes through a man's thoughts as he dreams, and in your face enough that they mean what they represent.
    Fantasy, dreamlike implications, period.

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  58. What evidence do you have -- other than your own perosnal experience -- that men dream "a lot" about sex? And is this ad supposed to appeal just to men? If so, then that's another problem with the marketers' strategy.

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  59. Anonymous11:24 PM

    Very disturbing ad. For some reason it brings to mind an Album by a rock group called Jethro Tull from the early '70's...the Album was entitled "AQUALUNG".

    PERHAPS it is the scenes that feature the hardhat diver, I dunno.

    The Beaver and Abe Lincoln are really strange. I too think there is something disburtingly subliminal about these ads, I too have had difficulty sleeping after viewing them.

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  60. Anonymous10:59 AM

    In response to this ad "dissing" women, in the newest ad there is a female insomniac at his work being fallowed by a purple pony.

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  61. Anonymous5:39 PM

    I am an advertising student in chicago. I was coming up with an ad campaign for sealy mattress. My partner and I came up with the idea of "dream weirder". It was a print campaign, using a visual of a beaver, and abe Lincoln...which came out of a real dream from my partner. The actual dream was a beaver stealing her purse. We thought it would be funny to twist this visual more by placing a popular historic icon in the shot. We decided on lincoln. Unfortunately, a very immoral ad teacher with the first name "stewart", stole our idea...and gave it to a "friend". My partner and I, had to withrdraw the campaign out of our portfolios...which has hurt us. Anyhow, this is how the real concept for this ad came into existence.

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  62. Anonymous12:05 PM

    In this commercial's dream imagery the beaver symbolizes work, Lincoln personal integrity, space suit fantasy.

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  63. I am sorry I ever wrote this post!

    This ad undoubtedly will be studied in psych classes fror years and years to come!

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  64. Anonymous7:14 PM

    Okay... when the commercials first came I, I didn't know until my parents told me lol...

    Beaver - female anatomy a.k.a. sex
    Deep Sea Diver - Muff diver
    Abe Lincoln - Big Abe...

    Any questions?

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  65. Forget whether the dreams have meaning, or if the creative is clever. The ads don't work! Bad creative brief, or did they get carried away by how "clever" they were? Either way, they've spent more on advertising ($110 million!) then they've sold in pills. That's bad.

    Check it out at http://lifeismarketing.blogspot.com/2007/04/lets-remember-good-creative-works.html

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  66. Anonymous12:56 AM

    I figured it meant that it was available in the US (Lincoln) and Canada (Beaver)...

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  67. What about the deep sea diver? Perhaps a symbol for "diving" (as in oral sex?).

    The actor playing Lincoln needs his own TV show. Maybe with Mister Beaver ... or not ...

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  68. MJFiorello6:37 AM

    OK, folks...if you accept that the "beaver" is an anatomical reference typical of Freudian wordplay dreamwork...how much of a stretch is it to focus not on Lincoln's iconography and honesty but on his beard...and who would focus on the "bearded" nature of genitalia? a diver!

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  69. Lauri Loewenberg3:57 PM

    Being a dream analyst, I LOVE these ads.

    In Dream Psychology, most elements in a dream reflect some part of the dreamer. In this case, Abe represents the part of this poor guy who needs to be honest with himself about his problem.

    The beaver is how he feels about his insomnia... it is "gnawing" away at him.

    The deep sea diver represents going deep into sleep. Notice how there is never any interaction with the diver? It's always just beyond his reach.

    Whether the creators of this ad actually put this much thought into the imagery they chose, I don't know, but surely their subconscious minds had some input!!

    Sweet dreams everyone!!

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  70. Anonymous7:18 PM

    Ted Rooney is the actor playing Lincoln.

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  71. Chuck Causey9:03 PM

    This is nothing new. Lincoln, the Beaver, and the Deep Sea Diver were featured in print in the 1930's or possibly the 20's. I was hoping someone on the blog could tell me where I saw it when I was in grade school. I do not know if it was an ad or a political cartoon. Believe me - those characters have been around along time.

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  72. You mean all together?

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  73. Rozerem freak2:01 PM

    If Ted Rooney plays Lincoln, then who plays the beaver?

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  74. Anonymous6:42 AM

    i like the commercial because the beaver/ground hog/spiky brown animal is cranky--that's all--he's memorable because he's cranky.

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  75. Anonymous2:32 AM

    I'm beginning to wonder if i'm the only one who thought this about the commercial but I think a good night of interupted sleep, like the alphabet, goes from A - Zzzz, and Abe and the Beaver represent dream figments of the first 2 letters of the alphabet in which a full night of sleep is not reached.

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  76. Anonymous2:06 PM

    Oh my god. You guys are pretty damn slow if you're not picking this up. The line is "Your dreams miss you." i.e. get some sleep. The implication is the the drug can help. Abe Lincoln, the beaver, etc. are the kind of surreal things you see interacting in dreams. They aren't supposed to make sense ... they are of your dreams, and dreams don't make sense. Get it? I'll leave the psychoanaylsis to the Freudians. Now let's clarify the goal of advertising. It is to get noticed. To stand out. NOT to blend in. In that respect, this is some of the best pharma advertising ever done! Bravo!

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  77. You are slow in posting this comment! The ad has come and gone into the annals of marketing.

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  78. Anonymous3:27 PM

    I thought it was a Ground Hog, which makes sense because of the February factor - Ground Hog's Day and Lincoln's birthday. Wasn't the first time this ad shown during the Superbowl a couple years ago...in February? I don't know, maybe not. Regardless, isn't it really supposed to be about crazy "dreams/hallucinations" that could keep you from getting to REM sleeping.

    I'm no expert, so I guess it's not for me to say. Its just my $0.02.

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