Last night I watched "Love and Other Drugs" with Anne Hathaway and Jake Gyllenhaal. It was a good movie, a typical movie, a love story with predicable scenes and a totally predictable ending. But completely enjoyable.
There was one thing, though, that really caught me by surprise: the consumer insights.
Now I always say that observing pop culture is a great way to learn about consumer behavior. Many of the characters in movies and tv shows are reflective of how our target markets live their lives. How they feel about things, and the stuggles they go through. Many of these characters are heavily researched to resonate with their audience. Undoubtedly through a "Hollywood" filter, but often still accurate.
This little movie nailed it.
One the one hand, you have the pharmaceutical sales rep depicted in an aggressively, profit-oriented way. Not sure how insightful that was - more just what the public expects and very stereotypical.
But on the other hand you have the patient - the person struggling with a health care crisis. A young women in the prime of her life dealing with something that is comprising the quality of it. That portrayal was brilliant.
The emotions around not wanting the disease to take over your life and define who you are were so enlightening. The truth is that people who are dealing with major health issues still have to work, date, take care of kids ... live their lives. They fear that the disease will become all consuming, and change who they are.
There was one moment in particular that really struck me. I don't remember the scene specifically, but I do remember the moment. Someone looked into the eyes of the main character and said "You're Still Inside There." To me, that captured the emotion, the fear, the hope of people dealing with health issues.
As pharmaceutical and health care marketers, it's important for us to realize this. Diseases and our drugs do not define our consumers. It is merely one part of their lives that they are managing. It's important for us to help them live their life in totality, not just as a "sick patient." But as a person inside.
What's your experience? Jim.