Thursday, May 3, 2007

DAN-ACTIVE

I wanted to write a post about the number of drug and drug industry-related ads you see on TV, and I do want to talk about direct-to-consumer advertising and what isn’t being done about it.

But then I saw a commercial and I just feel compelled to write about it. It was for Dannon Yogurt’s product “DanActive”. This commercial is hilarious. It starts out with a family sitting around a table and the father is reading the newspaper. He suddenly announces a startling factoid in the newspaper: “It says here that stress….(LONG PAUSE)…can weaken our immune system!” (Cue scary music).

Well, GAWWWWWLLL-LEE! Thanks for telling me Gomer Pyle. I can see being compelled to tell my whole family this incredibly shocking bit of news. I’m sure nobody ever noticed that you tend to get sick when you're under a lot of stress and feeling run down. I’m so riveted at this point, I keep watching with bated breath.

Then their seventeen year old daughter announces knowingly from the refrigerator “Annnnd… about 70% of our our imuuuune (she drags out the word, as if to say ‘Dad, you are such a dummy. Everyone knows this’) system is in our digestive tract.” And just in case you can’t hear her, this sentence is planted along the bottom of the screen. AND just in case you didn’t see THAT, a huge number “70%” graphic appears on the screen along the left. I’m so glad a teenager is up on current medical knowledge. Heck, I didn’t even know that and I’m an internist. She also gives her father a bit of a seductive look. Left me a little disturbed, I have to say.

Then the father helpfully offers this information, glancing back at his newspaper: “Apparently, a culture called L. casei immunitas (rhymes with ‘gravitas’, I guess) can help. It’s clinically proven to help strengthen your body’s defense system.” The paper breaks away to an impressive animated sequence of purple thingies being magnetized or something. I’m not quite sure.

The rest of the commercial is not very interesting, and at the end the graphic reads “DAnActive! Help strengthen your body’s defenses”

Wow! I’m no longer sure if they are trying to sell me food… or medicine! What about their claims? Does DAnActive indeed strengthen your immune system, as the narrator and play actors suggest? Can I get a boost? Can I counteract the stress effect on that 70% of my GI tract?

I visited the website and perused some of their citations and I’m not too impressed. I’ll speak more about it tomorrow, but I wouldn’t start downing a ton of DAnActive at the first sign of a cold.

8 comments:

Happyman said...

can you link to their citations?

Linda (Lou) said...

Okay, comment number two for the day. I don't want to go as far as to claim that people are stupid, but they sure like to glom onto all sorts of psueoo-scientific and medical sounding "factoids" and incorporate whatever the trend du jour is into their lifestyle. I was made nuts by some lady in the CostCo recently who was pushing Dan Active. I asked her what the "active" ingredient was. She stumbled over the name of the pro-biotic that is in it mispronouncing it horribly, but telling me all about how great it was for my immune system nonetheless. I tried it. It didn't taste that good. But people were scooping it up by the crateful. And I have friends who use all sorts of OTC "snake oils and potions" when they have been exposed to a cold and give it credit for why they didn't get the cold. I worked in a cesspool of an ER for years and never even bothered to get a flu shot let alone use AirBorne, and never got sick. Whatever. Maybe I just have really good intestines! :-) Let's face it, there's still a sucker born every minute...

Dustin said...

I'm not an expert by any means, but I was bored walking through the store and decided to give it a try like a shepeople believing for a brief moment what the commercials said, well to my horror the next day after eating this stuff I felt like someone carved out my GI track and for weeks after I felt exceedingly hungry constantly and raw inside. not to mention it definitely did something strange to my regularity that disturbed me greatly. I only ate one and through the rest away. P.s the commercials on right now, lol.

Dustin said...

Oh I forgot to specify it was Dannon Activia that I was talking about.

Anonymous said...

I am reading this article second time today, you have to be more careful with content leakers. If I will fount it again I will send you a link

Anonymous said...

It is useful to try everything in practice anyway and I like that here it's always possible to find something new. :)

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