Big-Hair Science?

Now, most of you probably give little thought to scientific product advertising.  I know I don’t, and I’m a scientist.  Typically, the ads for instruments and reagents are pretty simple – usually a picture of the product, maybe with someone (or a diverse group of someones) in lab coat(s) smiling out at you.

That’s why this ad from Roche-Applied Biosystems is probably the most confounding ad I’ve ever come across.
Xcelligence Rocks

You have to like:

“Little cells.  Resting on your plates.  Tell me how you feel down there inside…”

and especially…

“…below your beds are tiny electrodes, measuring impedance of ionic environments.  Your presence will affect the ionic environments… leading to the increase electrode impedance so that we can study your local behavior IN REAL TIME!”

For many (one probably pretty obvious) reasons, I never really identified with 80s hair-bands, but using the faux power-ballad staple to sell an instrument for 21st century quality cell-based assays… well, that’s a bit of a head-scratcher.
Also – this seems like a lot of trouble and money to go for an instrument ad.  I mean, a clever ad isn’t going to make me shell out for an instrument (which can cost as much as a car).  If this is what they’re spending on advertising, no wonder they had enough to buy Genentech!

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13 thoughts on “Big-Hair Science?

  1. [this would make me buy a scientific instrument]UMTHAT IS AMAZINGAlso, the guitarist's face when on the words "IN! REAL! TIIIIME!" just *kills* me!! XD

  2. [this would make me buy a scientific instrument]UMTHAT IS AMAZINGAlso, the guitarist's face when on the words "IN! REAL! TIIIIME!" just *kills* me!! XD

  3. Furthermore–and this may be the point–but in your userpic, I'm always confused as to whether there's a window behind you, or if you have a shiny metallic party hat on. Just sayin'.

  4. This is so funny, but ultimately of no use. I don't think I have ever met a scientist that got an instrument based on any ad. Usually we are the anal types that do demos and really frustrate sales reps with a million details. If you want to laugh a little, YouTube is littered with a ton of these types of ads. Some are truly hilarious. one really took me back to when We Are the World was big in my early teens.

  5. Hilarious. Usually B2B advertising is much different from B2C advertising, and for good reason. B2B is much more straightforward about just saying what the product does. But maybe it hits the head on your co-worker demographic?

  6. Where DO you find this stuff??? I've been neglecting you of late, dearest Stephen, an oversight I hope to remedy forthwith. Spending next week in Fallbrook. If I get down into your neck of the woods, I'll give you a shout and maybe we can toss down a pint or two…or three. :-)

  7. [this is awesome] That was really funny. You have to give them credit for bypassing the happy-people-in-lab-coats-been-there-done-that ad and trying something different, even if is really strange. I think I'd call them for a demo based solely on the fact that they can "think outside the box." (Sorry for the cliche.)

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