First, there was the suffering, sighing woman in the first DTC (direct to consumer) ad for Lyrica, a drug being marketed by Pfizer for the treatment of fibromyalgia, a painful syndrome that is not well understood. Here's the woman in that ad (see "Women Need More Love, Less Drugs"):
Then there was the "battered-woman" fibromyalgia disease awareness ad that attempted to portray how sufferers felt by showing bruised images of a woman who says something like "maybe if people saw me this way, they will believe that fibromyalgia is a real medical condition" (see "Battered Woman Imagery in Pfizer's New Fibromyalgia Ad"). I was not able to capture an image of the woman in that from my TV, so I used the following image to illustrate my point:
The newest DTC ad for Lyrica is considerably LIGHTER in that the battered, glum, lonely-looking, suffering woman image has been replaced with an older, but attractive woman obviously enjoying her vacation with what appears to be her husband! At last! An image more women can relate to! Here's a screen shot from the ad, which you can find on the Lyrica Web site:
Either the Pfizer ad agency has read my blog posts about negative portrayals of women in DTC ads and about the Lyrica woman who needs more love in her life or this sequence of imagery is a crafty "shock and awe" campaign culminating in a "surge" to win our hearts as well as our minds!
I like to think it's the former rather than the latter. Ad agencies can't be THAT crafty!