Is It Live? Or Is It Lipitor?

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Dr. Robert Jarvik, the inventor of the artificial heart, has recently gotten some flack for his celebrity endorsement for Pfizer’s Lipitor cholesterol drug.

See, Dr. Jarvik is a physician, but not a cardiologist. He states he takes the cholesterol drug and, how with diet and exercise, his life is improved, yada yada yada. In one scene, Dr. Jarvik is seen rowing across a lake, thereby proving how healthy he is and, I’d imagine, Pfizer hopes viewers will link up his vitality with his use of Lipitor. Throw in his experience in creating one of the wonders of the world and, as you might expect, it’s a pretty powerful commercial.

Critics say Dr. Jarvik’s lack of being a cardiologist makes him unable to do expert testimony for the drug. Maybe, but he’s certainly able to do a personal endorsement, right? Well, critics say, that’s true…except the scene of him rowing across the lake? Yeah, body double. And the fact he’s dedicated his life to helping coronary health? Well, no one seems to have a problem with that.

Does this make me want to try Lipitor? Nah, not really. But would it make someone with high cholesterol want to try Lipitor? Maybe. Just maybe.

This reminds me of a study done several years ago. It was totally un-scientific, but still proved an interesting point, I thought. In this study, people were asked which actor on the big screen they thought was the most trustworthy. Their answer? Tom Hanks.

Why do you think this is? Well, for most, they’ve never seen Hanks play a bad guy. Never once has Tom Hanks played a serial killer, an adulterous spouse, a coniving gangster in the underworld or a bad guy of any kind(at least, not that I can think of). So, if you see Mr. Saving Private Ryan and Forest Gump often enough in the heroic/good role, you begin to link him up with all things positive. An accurate assessment? Who knows?!

We don’t hear stories of Tom Hanks pulling crazy drunken stunts, but maybe he’s just discreet. We haven’t heard any major scandals surrounding his life, but maybe he’s just got a great PR person. Who really knows what Hanks is like in real life?

Ya know? It doesn’t matter! For all practical purposes(that is, for advertising purposes), people view Hanks as trustworthy. And with Dr. Jarvik’s testimonial, M.D. and inventions, people are likely to associate him with anything heart healthy, too.

Again, if we look a little deeper than just what’s on the surface, we tend to find some unexpected surprises. It’s up to you whether or not you take that information and apply it to your own thinking processes.

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