The weather has been pretty erratic lately. I’ve taken two days of sick leave from work this December, and it has only been just a few days before the mid of this month. Work has been hectic and so is catching up with all the articles that I have to write for my blogs. I’ve been down with fever, cough and colds.
It was so funny that just that other day, I heard this commercial on the radio for Solmux, with the tagline “Dahon or the One”. Unilab always comes out with catchy lines and phrases and even weird advertisements that make you remember the product that they are offering. I remember this commercial that they made for Solmux, where they brought in a man in a gorilla costume into the set.
The phrase “dahon or the one” made me think of what really helps redeem me from these awful sounding coughs. Was it the natural remedies being referred to “dahon” or the synthetically produced drugs referring to Solmux in this radio ad. I read this interesting article from Janette Toral: Politics of Cough Medicine: Synthetic versus Herbal Cough Medicine and I decided to look at this competition between Synthetic and Herbal medicines, as well.
Synthetic Cough Medicines
Some of these synthetic cough medicines would be known brand like Solmux, Allerin, Tuseran, Robitussin, etc. With all these brands, they have to do a significantly good job to be noticed and remembered. Here are some of the commercials that these brands came up with:
Some, like Allerin, used real life scenarios and even appealed to the Filipina mothers, who would always want to be ready in times of sickness and “coughs and colds”
Some, like this Solmux commercial, used doctors to recommend their product…
Some even had to cover all aspects by creating sub brands that cater to a more specific target market. This ad from Solmux Chewtabs talks of instant relief now.
Robitussin also took another direction by saying that instant relief will be made, because of the quick acting liquigel.
Herbal Cough Medicines
One of my officemates suggested that I take Pei Pa Koa. Pei Pa Koa is one of the traditional Chinese natural herbal medicines that can be taken to eliminate coughs, sore throats and sometimes, even asthma. She was really convinced that this works for her. Imagine the lengths people take to look for an effective cough medicine? When this officemate had coughs, we had to search for Pei Pa Koa in the Ortigas area, and fortunately, we saw it in one Chinese store in Robinsons Galleria. By the way, there are a lot of these in Binondo. There are some stalls that sell this in Greenhills, too.
Her opinion was seconded by another close friend, who also mentioned another herbal medicine, but now something that originates from the Philippines. She mentioned that Lagundi was also an effective medicine for cough.
According to Philippine Herbal Medicine Website, there are numerous benefits that one can get from the Lagundi shrub. Aside from relief from cough, colds, fever and flu, asthma, pharyngitis and other bronchopulmonary disorders, this shrub can also help relieve of rheumatism, dyspepsia, boils, diarrhea, alleviate symptoms of Chicken Pox, and remove worms and boils.
This natural remedy has been commercialized as well. The more familiar brand is ASCOF.
From what I have noticed, advertising plays an important role in establishing what these medicine brands have to offer, whether it be a synthetic or an herbal drug. It is an avenue for them to relay to their audience their own unique selling proposition — how quickly they can relieve cough, the convenience of their product, who uses their products, etc.
After knowing the different brands, people then compare effectivity. I know a lot of people who experiment. They buy one of each and see how effective each one is. They use it for a day and see if it relieves them from cough, but after effects are not seen, they switch to another brand.
I, personally, try out medicines that are recommended by family and friends. Although, I am not really the person who would take medicines. I’m the type who believes in drinking water and resting. At times when those activities don’t help, that’s when I drink medicines.
I think that these brands should see that commercials are not the only basis for consumers to choose a cough medicine brand. They should not get to attached to the commercial that they forget that there are other means that they can use to reach their customers.