One of the alto saxophones in my section of marching band posted a picture of his Thanksgiving dinner plate onto his twitter page. The dinner plate had the caption “Help, I’ve eaten and I can’t get up.” If you watched a small amount of television a few years ago, then you would probably understand where that reference comes from. The inspiration for the caption was numerous commercials for the product Life Alert, which usually had commercials that depicted a very frightening image of an elderly woman in a compromising position because of her old age. This usually means a 75 year old woman falling down the stairs, or slipping in the kitchen or bathtub, or even falling out of bed. Life Alert had a device that looked very similar to a necklace that was wrapped around the patron’s neck. Whenever the patron was in a compromising position like one of the above listed, they were able to push the button, and call for help in case they were unable to get to the nearest phone on their own. There’s a note at the bottom of the commercial that states, “Life alert defines a life saved from a catastrophic outcome as an event where a subscriber activated the system, had an actual emergency, was home alone, was unable to get to the phone to call for help and Life Alert dispatched help.”
My friend’s caption is a perfect idea for a marketing idea because it draws on something that is so familiar to American audiences. Life Alert has had so many different commercials out that the phrase would be immediately recognizable. The only question is how can we use it to market something around Thanksgiving? One idea is that you can use it in order to market a gym membership after Thanksgiving. After people have their fill of Thanksgiving and realize that the treats of commercial Christmas are around the corner, they might be more willing to go and get gym equipment or a membership. “Help I’ve eaten and I can’t get up” draws on the same feelings of anxiety about deterioration of health, but in a new light.