Poop Emoji Marketing Is Apparently a Thing
by Kelly Googe Lucas, client marketing director
A company is using poop emojis for its marketing. I s#!t you not. (C’mon, I had to write that…)
In an effort to encourage patients to speak with their doctors about constipation (and thereby sell medicine that can alleviate the issue), Synergy Pharmaceuticals created a, um, lovable line of poop emoji characters. There’s a pile of them, too: Stressed-Out Stooly, Clogged Chris, Left-Out Lumpy, Plugged-Up Paulie, Miss La Poop, Mr. Smooth, Sausage Sally, Doody Dan, Splasher Asher, Ploptimistic Peter, Squirt, Waterworks Wally, Diarrhea Dave and Runny Ron.
Go Poop Troop! Go Poop Troop! Go, Go, Go Poop Troop!
I learned about these little guys from Jane Sarasohn-Kahn’s site Health Populi:
“Constipation is hard. Talking about it is even harder,” reads a card I received from the senior director of marketing at Synergy Pharmaceuticals…This campaign has been strategically honed with a heavy dose of market research on the psychographic level, and patient/user experience. Dr. Anish Sheth, Chief of Gastroenterology at the University Medical Center of Princeton, wrote the forward in The Poop Troop booklet introducing the emojis’ clinical personae. Dr. Sheth is the co-author of the book, What’s Your Poo Telling You. This booklet is packed with humor and self-effacing puns, featuring a seal calling the concept a “Poolitzer Prize Winner,” and quoting a “Dr. John,” opining, “Sure to inspire bowels across America.”
When faced with a difficult or uncomfortable subject, many people turn to humor to help soften the blow and alleviate the discomfort. The creative team for Synergy Pharmaceuticals have capitalized on this brilliantly. They’ve created a whole story around a group of personified piles of poop, so that people will be okay with telling the story about their personal piles of poop.
As we’ve discussed before, professional service providers can sometimes take advantage of humor and clever messaging to discuss topics that are otherwise considered too serious or even taboo. Eliciting a chuckle from a client can do wonders in breaking down barriers to conversations that really should take place.
Am I suggesting your firm should resort to using playful versions of excrement in its marketing? No. No I am not. What I am suggesting is that you consider finding the humor in uncomfortable topics and use that to spark productive conversation with your clients. Uncovering additional needs, and successfully helping with those needs, results in happier, more satisfied clients.
And in the event you have issues with constipation or just want your own set of dancing Poop Troop emojis, you can download the app and keyboard via the App Store or Google Play. You’re welcome.