We Get It, Mr. Cologuard!

author   by KIMBERLY RIPLEY  2018

Most adults fall into one of two categories when it comes to taking responsibility for their health.

The first is responsible to a fault. Appointments are booked way ahead of time for checkups and screenings, and the minute a doctor says “specialist,” they’re on the phone setting up yet another appointment. Then there are those who put off going to the doctor. Whether they don’t want to (or can’t) spend the money, or fear that “no news is good news” with regard to their health, they still avoid checkups and tests with aplomb.

The second category is likely where advertising for Cologuard comes in, although some doctors prescribe it for patients in between colonoscopies. The at-home kit requires a stool sample and is then sent in the mail to a lab for screening for signs of potential cancer. And that’s fantastic. It’s a wonderful alternative for those who fear having a colonoscopy, and for those who can’t afford one. No, it’s not a substitute, but it lets your doctor know if there’s something questionable going on.

What’s especially questionable to me is the insulting manner in which the product is advertised. The catch phrase in the ad is “Get, go, gone.” And we get it, advertisers. Truly, we do.

We don’t need Mr. Cologuard to hop onto the toilet. We know that’s the place we do our business. And then he has the audacity to tear off one perforated piece of toilet paper—and don’t even get me going on the nonsense of tearing off one sheet—which he then folds into a paper airplane and flies away.

Yes, this expensive (they don’t tell you that without insurance—and many insurance companies don’t cover it anyway—the test can cost upwards of $500) pharmaceutical creation explains via Mr. Cologuard how to take a—well, you know. It appears to assume that not only don’t we know where to go, but also that we don’t know how to properly clean ourselves up afterwards either.

Cologuard gets it wrong with the paper airplane business, however, and I truly hope for those with children (or childish husbands) who might watch this ad, that they don’t do as Mr. Cologuard does. Otherwise there will be way more bathroom cleanup than you’re already performing.

And listen closely. Is he really saying, “Ship me to the lab,” or something else?

Isn’t there a dignified way to advertise this test? No one needs the play by play. Let’s try to assume that the average consumer is of average intelligence, and knows what to do in the bathroom.

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