Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Piss Poor PSA

There is some talk about the International Diabetes Foundation's (IDF) latest public service announcement (PSA): Diabetes Kills.  

All done watching it? 
(I hope I don't get too shredded for this.)

I agree this is a piss-poor PSA. Not because I was offended by the Death Eaters picking people off or because that last poor soul was slammed into the ground only to morph into a tombstone or because my kids might see it but because:

I don't understand what they are trying to convey.  Which totally defeats the point of a PSA!  

If the PSA is targeted toward general public awareness and understanding of what diabetes really is then, personally, I'm OK with a little "Diabetes Kills".  Diabetes does kill.  I think only something really bold is going to break through the misconceptions and stereotypes diabetes and people with diabetes have placed on them.  Both of which need to be broken to get to empathy.  Then real education and action can take root. 

The PSA goes overboard.  I'm sure they intended to go overboard to make a point, but I can see how this might be seen as over-overboard (and smacked it's head on a tombstone).  However, I also don't think the people the IDF are targeting (if it is the uneducated-I'm still not sure) understand the dangers of diabetes.  So where is the perfect balance?  I don't know.  But I do know that some people still think diabetes is caused by eating too much sugar. Wait, is that what it is about?  Still not sure. And then the "Learn how to stay Healthy" totally threw me.  Who are they targeting again?

On the other side of the goes-too-far fence, I also don't like these quotes:

"Diabetes doesn’t kill people; UNCONTROLLED diabetes does.”
“Well-managed diabetes is the leading cause of… NOTHING.”

I get it.  I really do.  They're empowering, positive, motivational and hopeful.  All good and important things, but I think they are misleading and a little false/extreme.  Probably to make a point. 


  1. The learn how to stay healthy part made me think they were really talking about type 2 ... Not sure really ... Since I (like you) have no idea what the point of this psa is!

    1. I *think* their target is the uneducated general public but it is so unclear. Once I saw "learn how to stay healthy" I saw all the uneducated gerneral public lightbulbs flicker out.

  2. All I see is the smoke monster from "LOST". What an f-ing joke.

    1. yeah - the smoke monster is too violent.

  3. I'm still trying to figure out my thoughts on the video but I would say those quotes at the end are helpful... until they aren't.

    When you don't have complications I suppose it is motivational, but I suppose once you do all they will do is make you feel guilty.

  4. over-overboard <---!

    also, just seems silly. and vague. that smoke snake could be *anything*---GMO corn or depression or pollution (seems most likely pollution.)

  5. I can't remember the statistic, but I've heard that there are many people with T2D or "prediabetes" who are undiagnosed. maybe this ad is trying to get people to be tested.

    Unfortunately, some Ds do everything in their power to control their diabetes and they are still "brittle". Extreme highs and lows can kill. I have a T1D coworker and we've touched this fact, but we don't dwell on it. I have T2D and I'm fully aware that if I don't control my D it can kill me.

    I still don't like this commercial. It is likely to cause anxiety for those who have a diabetic in their life, but don't know all of the ins and outs of this complex condition!!!