Saturday, February 28, 2015

A Disease of the Blind with its own Corporate Logo?

Today, I saw this commercial about Non-24, a God-awful sleeping disorder that affects the "totally blind":

Can you see my problem with this commercial? No? What are you, totally blind? Oh, durp!

It is a visual commercial directed at the blind! WTF?

According to this article, there are 100,000 totally blind people in the United States, and 55-70% of them suffer from Non-24. The producer of this commercial is a pharmaceutical research corporation, Vanda, that appears to be looking for test subjects, not customers.

I wish Vanda luck in their endeavor to find treatment options for the afflicted. However, I think their commercial is terribly confusing. You see, to resolve my cognitive dissonance, I had to go to the Non-24 website to figure out why the hell a pharmaceutical company had targeted a visual commercial at the blind, and why they created a visual, product-brand-like logo for a disease. However, it is very likely others will not be so inclined.

This is all very weird. You can say Vanda is not targeting the blind but instead the sighted caregivers of the blind, but then why didn't they just say that? Why go through the motions of making a visual commercial that plays out like any other drug-company commercial, with pictures of people doing daily chores with vapid expressions, while a disembodied voice intones - "Start living your life today, free of genital warts, with twice-daily PussWartia. Side effects include explosive diarrhea from the penis or vagina, the growth of armpit vaginas in men, and rectal sentience. If your anus begins speaking for longer than four hours while taking PussWartia, seek immediate medical attention."

I believe the answer to why Vanda would make a visual commercial is what is causing my cognitive dissonance in the first place. I believe they consciously chose to make the commercial appear like a pharmaceutical commercial aimed at a specific target population, even though it was truly neither of these things, but was instead aimed at the sighted caregivers of the blind. And why would they do this? Because, to make a commercial targeted to the caregivers of the blind would not be politically correct. Political correctness requires that Vanda not show helpless, sleepless blind people sitting in a still room while a concerned loved one witnesses his/her discomfort. No. Instead, we must create the narrative that the blind can do anything the sighted can do, and they are going to see this commercial and take charge of their sleep disorder. Because the blind are just like anyone else dammit - they wash clothes, get kids from the bus, walk down stairs alone or in pairs, and make a slinkity sound.

I better leave it there for today. Cognitive dissonance dissipated.


  1. Maybe the ad is in braille? More importantly, what ethnicity is her daughter?

    1. Ha! I didn't want to say anything but that wasn't her daughter. It wasn't even her house. On any given day, she can be found randomly trespassing in people's homes doing laundry while be followed by a camera crew. Her neighbors call her Mrs. Magoo.