Marketing Pooh-Pooh

Today I went to the doctor.  (Don't worry, I'm fine!)  I needed to go in to have a few things checked out, and can I tell you what's sad (other than the fact I'm telling you about this)?  It felt indulgent.  The fact that I went to see someone wearing a white coat and they there to take care of me and ask questions about me, and it had nothing to do with my kids or my reproductive parts made me feel like I was pretty special.

Which goes to show you that I'm way overdue for a Spa or Salon visit of some sort, because I'm starting to confuse internists with estheticians.  Not good.

Of course, this illusion of indulgence didn't last very long.  In fact, it lasted about as long as it took for the nurse to close the exam room door and I was faced with an instructional poster detailing the correct procedure for collecting fecal specimens:


Yes, I felt stupid whipping out my cell phone and taking a picture of this poster but I had to do it.  I may be currently living the carefree life of a SAHM, but once, not so long ago, I was a marketing worker bee and this poster brought back many emotions, not the least of which was empathy.  I know that somewhere out there, probably in New Jersey, there is a product manager at some medical device company who spent hours, maybe weeks, on this poster, probably more hours than were spent on strategy (so why did they spend so much time at school on the 4 Ps?  It's a rhetorical question.  I don't know.)

This poor product manager (whose business card probably reads "Manager, Fecal Testing Devices" --let's pray that they're not single.  THE HORROR.) had to write a brief detailing what they needed ("a poster about poop handling"), and send it out to illustrators and ad agencies and then look at the work of people who have done similar illustrations, and then hire someone and send countless emails back and forth asking the illustrator to make the poop on the collection strip less obvious (and really, do we need an "after" shot?) and then they had to make the poop more, um, realistic, in order to illustrate correctly how to "pierce the specimen in at least 5 different sites" only to come up with this work of art:


And this process goes on and on, and there are meetings about the illustrations, and there are re-writes and copywriters are involved - as well as the legal department and the regulatory department - and yes, this as exciting as it sounds.

Boy am I glad I no longer work in pharmaceutical marketing, is all.

I was once in charge of three canker sore products.  I won't go into detail about how I spent precious hours of my life on illustrations for the packaging, and how to this day I can't help but stare people at CVS when they're standing in front of the canker sore treatments, probably waiting for me to leave them alone so that they can make this borderline embarrassing purchase IN PEACE.

(No one ever looks at the illustrations.  Bah!)

Oh, and in case you were wondering, my business card read "Manager, Oral First Aids" I kid you not.  I always made sure that final s was there.  Too bad I wasn't single at the time because I have a feeling that title would have made me VERY popular at bars.