We often hide sensitive problems like lice, constipation, warts and rashes – so how are brands expected to advertise health products for these stigmatized conditions?
There has to be an effective way to communicate product benefits and target consumers even when marketing sensitive issues. Word choice, tone of voice and overall messaging impact how advertisements are received by audiences. Brands use Relative Insight to analyze marketing communications and pinpoint what they should be saying and who they should be saying it to.
Using Relative Insight, we compared brand messaging for 10 sensitive health products against standard treatments like over the counter painkillers, allergy medication and bandages. This form of analysis reveals the unique language used by the two groups, giving us an understanding of how brands advertise products for sensitive conditions.
Disclaimer: There is no shame in any health complication or related product, but we do recognize the obstacles brands face in advertising themselves as a remedy for issues people don’t often share. Now onto the insights!
The makings of a successful health product advertisement
The first step in destigmatizing any concept is understanding that it’s a lot more commonplace than people think. These brands positioned products as treatments to everyday, common issues. When consumers know they’re not alone, the stigma starts to disappear.
The next step in de-stigmatizing health products is presenting a simple solution. If it’s easy to fix, it must not be that big of an issue, right? Brands use this strategy to advertise the ease of their health products while also lessening the perceived severity of the issue in the first place.
In addition to ease, health product marketing positioned products as fast-acting solutions. Product descriptions used words like fast, quickly and immediately. Especially when dealing with sensitive health issues, consumers want to feel better ASAP.
Sensitive conditions require gentle solutions. Health product advertising used words like gentle, soothe and calm – but still effective. It’s important these brands present a clear value proposition using words like relieve, cure and prevent. Consumers need to know this product will work and eliminate their issue.
To further emphasize the effectiveness of these brands, health product advertising touted clinical accolades like clinically proven and #1 doctor recommended. It’s not enough for brands to vouch for their own products. When it comes to their health, consumers need to be reassured by trustworthy sources.
Using these approaches in the creation of their health product advertisements, brands are successfully reducing the stigma associated with certain health complications. The brand messaging used to sell these products clearly acknowledges the issue, positions the problem as ordinary, and positions the remedy as gentle, fast-acting and effective.