Finally some advertising from the pharmaceutical/medical category I can write about.

Lyric. A unique hearing aid … oops … excuse me … ‘hearing device.’

<I am now tempted to write “EH, WHAT DID YOU SAY?!?!?” but I will refrain>.

Lyric is the world’s first and only 100% invisible, 24/7 wearable, sweat-proof, shower-proof for months-at-a-time hearing device. <that is their claim to fame on their website>

I will admit. It is a neat product innovation which helps make the advertising easier to do <assuming someone doesn’t overthink the ‘lifestyle benefit’ too much>.

I envision that some new company leader came in and said <from an innovation standpoint> … hey … if they can make contact lenses that people can wear for months and no one can tell they are wearing them why the hell can’t we do that with hearing aids? Kicked some ass in the technical department and … well … here they are.

As I stated above … it is actually harder than you may think for an advertising agency to get out of the way of a great product story. Nowadays you have planners planning away on the ‘emotional benefit inside the person we want to trigger’ or some incredible insight gobbledygook thought … and, of course,  everyone wants some sexy cool imagery showing the end <end> benefit that isn’t just the obvious one <better hearing> but a better life/better person. I say that because even with a truly unique product there are a lot of things that can go wrong in the making of marketing & advertising communications.

Someone at Lyric seems to have kept their head on straight and hired someone to do the advertising who either took orders really well or understood how to balance the technical, practical/functional and end benefit communication aspects <and, no, I didn’t do that research so I do not know who to congratulate … but … I hope it is someone I know>.

Anyway. What I like.

First. The name.

Whew. Naming, itself, is a minefield. Drug companies these days seem to have cornered the market on the name absurd. Lyric has done two things which I know I have failed miserably several times convincing companies they needed to do. They have done a nice job coming up with a nice name that is relevant to what the product actually does <’hearing a ‘lyric’ is a benefit of using the device> but they also have attached a nice functional descriptor line to the name … the whole ‘months at a time hearing device’ to clearly explain what the heck the product is. They didn’t play any word games <which can often appropriately be compared to reindeer games> and were practical. By the way … to those not in the industry … while this sounds pretty common sense … it is not. It is often a difficult second guessing ‘can I see another 25 names’ discussion/debate/argument. I have seen more good names and practical descriptor lines get trashed than college kids at a bar on spring break.

Lyric was smart. It was well done. They got out of the naming minefield without blowing their ass off before they even got in the rest of the battle.

Second. The execution itself.

The current advertisement: http://www.lyrichearing.com/what-is-lyric-hearing-aid/hearing-aid-commercial

I will begin with the excellent use of graphics. The name is the product. And they superimpose the graphics very well over the photography. Looks nice and clean and not hokey or overly forced <beyond the fact they have to shove a graphic into some one’s ear on occasion>.


The testimonials. I am sure if I was industrious enough I could view reel after reel of commercials to see who else has done this type of testimonial treatment before … but I didn’t … and, frankly, I cannot remember ever seeing it done this way before.

Full screen grid with of squares each with a different person or visual and they sweep out one after another with a testimonial sound bite. It is really nice. Rather than have full screen in your face one person at a time you get one person overlaying an entire grid of people. Clearly communicated ‘one of many’ instead of ‘wow, they only found one to say what they wanted to say’ without having to tell you that they have a variety of testimonials.

Well done, smart and done differently at the same time.


The images.

Sure. I could nitpick … there are some images they use that seem an awful like the same visuals say … well … Viagra <or some ‘senior life enhancing pharmaceutical drug’> has used.  You know. The older couple on the motorcycle casually taking their helmets off. The close up of older greying couple hugging and smiling at each other like they just won the lottery <instead of having sex>. You know. Those images. And maybe Lyric had the advantage of actually talking about a product rather than just a ‘lifestyle benefit’ but the imagery seemed fresh and wove its way back and forth between practical close ups and ‘happy lifestyle’ sweeping photography.


I swear all these medical companies shoot these commercials on the same type of film with the same camera lens and with the same directors so they can borrow footage from each other … it drives me a little crazy but Lyric has done as good a job as I have seen to make themselves look different from that grandiose sea of sameness the medical industry seems to swim in day in and day out on television.

Interestingly <proof that I actually do a little background research on occasion> this advertisement is the product of some evolution. I also imagine it is a product of budget <they didn’t have a shitload of money for round one>.

I feel no need to comment on the past commercials because the current one is good but for some perspective on how Lyric television advertising has evolved here you go:

The original 2009 advertisement?: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7UaoTRpiVQo

The follow up 2010 advertisement?: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eXhBm2hCFxc&feature=related

I was pleasantly surprised when I saw this on television.

I am not in the market for a hearing aid … darn … I meant hearing device <seriously … marketing at its best> but I appreciate new products marketed well.

Written by Bruce