What are medical alerts? They are devices worn by an individual that are used to alert emergency personal as to when that individual requires medical attention. These alerts are used to prevent emergency situations from turning into a tragedy and to provide independence for those with limited mobility. However, a company distributing these medical alerts managed to turn a very serious matter into two decades of comedy fodder. How did this happen?
Do you remember this commercial? “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” That single line was used in a commercial for a company selling medical alerts. While the commercial helped the sale of alerts skyrocket, the commercial itself became a pop culture phenomenon. In fact, in 1992, three years after this line was uttered on American TV waves, the company trademarked “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” and continues to use the phrase in their advertising to this day.
Unfortunately, this type of pop culture status became a double edged sword for this serious seller of medical alerts. The line drew plenty of attention to the brand, but the unintentional comedic nature of the commercial greatly diminished the importance of the device. Audiences focused more on the poor lady that “could not get up” and how humorous the situation seemed to be rather than focusing on how medical alerts could assist their loved ones in emergency situations. The commercial was deemed annoying and the fact that this line was soon parodied on TV, by comedians, and in movies certainly did not help to boost the image of the company or the devices.
The fact is, medical alerts save lives. Seniors and people with limited mobility due to accidents, obesity, high risk pregnancy, or disabilities rely on alerts to get the help they need when their safety is compromised and their health is at risk. Alerts help individuals with limited mobility live independent lives and allow the friends and family of these individuals to have confidence knowing their loved one has quick access to emergency care if it is required.
These convenient devices provide peace of mind for both the individual in need and the care giver, since the caregiver does not have to have their charge within sight and within reach 24 hours of the day. The freedom medical alerts provide is invaluable for those that rely on them.
The company that originated the line “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” most likely was not trying to show a slip and fall accident as a humorous event, a suspicion supported by this company’s restructured commercials. The newer commercials that use this line now include a narrator that tells the audience why the situation they are viewing would be very serious and how medical alerts could prevent the situation from becoming a tragedy.
Love or loathe the famous commercial, you cannot deny that it is memorable. So memorable that the line has its own Wikipedia page! The company that put that line on the airwaves and subsequently into history has worked hard to show that medical alerts are serious, non-comedic devices….but they still continue to use the line, which makes them a company that knows how to save their own corporate life alongside the lives of the many thankful customers that rely on their product.