Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Johnson & Johnson & The Alliance For A Better California

While on the elliptical machine this morning, I happened to look up and catch an ad on the flat screen above me. In it, an attractive, wholesome young woman wearing an outfit implying here name is most likely Nan, checked on an elderly man in a hospital bed. When she looked at his bedside photos and keepsakes, she realized he was either a musician or music enthusiast, and gently placed his headphones on, allowing him some home comforts in the cold, sometimes scary world of hospitals and modern medicine.

The voice over - or, the close captioning, to be accurate - described nurses as caring, noble, necessary professionals. Seeing where this was going, I jumped on my conclusion mat and decided the Alliance folks must've just raked in some more dough because wow, was this a well produced commercial.

Imagine my surprise when the ad turned out to be from our friends at Johnson & Johnson, touting their Campaign For Nursing's Future. There were some other appropriately noble words as well, but I was so knocked back by my own reactions and conclusions to the ad (and pedaling so furiously at that point) that I didn't jot anything down. But as you can tell from the above link - and this one to the related site Discover Nursing - it's all huggy-feel-good corporate land here.

But what of California viewers like me, conditioned over an already long campaign season to equate nurses with "vs. Arnold?" The ad aired on between chunks of CNN Headlines News. Clearly, it was made for a national audience, but one wonders if the Johnson & Johnson folks have anyone on the ground in California to wonder what kind of political twinge California viewers might read into the advertisement.

Exhibit A:

Arnold is attacking California Nurses. Johnson & Johnson supports nurses. Johnson & Johnson must not like Arnold. I think that I, Democratic viewer (or other partisan-politics-hater), will buy some more band-aids or first aid creme today because Johnson & Johnson don't like Arnold and his nurse-attacking ways either.
Or

Exhibit B:
Special Interest and Public Enemy Number 1 California Nurses are playing politics with Californians in need of healthcare. Nurses are attacking reformer Arnold. Johnson & Johnson supports nurses. Johnson & Johnson must not like Arnold. I think that I, Republican (or other partisan-politics-hater) willy boycott Johnson & Johnson for sticking their no-good, national corporation nose into our states business and protest until they cease efforts to thwart the work of our reformer-hero governor. From now on, only
Curad Veggie Tales bandages in this house.
Granted, both exhibits are a bit of a stretch - but I'm not the only political junkie watching ads out there. In fact, I'd guess that CNN's advertisers are betting on the junkie eyeballs to some extent when buying time on Turner news networks.

Will the Johnson & Johnson ads have any bearing on California politics or on the success of Johnson & Johnson products and/or efforts to recruit good nurses? Probably not. But keep your eye out for the ads and see if you get tricked too. I may have planted a seed here now, but trust me, your fertile minds had already been sown.

[If anyone finds a link to the J&J commercial online, please paste it in the comments or email me. I didn't see one on the site, but I could've easily missed it. Here's a link to some Alliance commercials, though, just to get you good and primed.]

3 comments:

Bethany said...

J&J has been running ads that promote the profession of nursing for years. This is nothing new and, I would argue, that there really is no connection to the Arnold v. Nurses situation.

J&J gives to Arnold, which doesn't say much since nearly all major companies do.

cd said...

I don't think I said there really IS a connection between the two. I don't think J&J thought twice about California politics when making this ad.

My point is more: sweet jeezus look at the nerd I've become. I - and probably others - are so conditioned to the political ads at this point, we see them even when they aren't there.

Bethany said...

I get it. Just merely indicating that you have, in fact, gone over the deep end and need to get your head out of hte political gutter. :)

PS - great to see you today.