In English, a ‘prick’ can mean making a hole with a sharp point – like when someone with diabetes uses a needle to test blood. It is also an insult. ‘Prick’ is something you call an obnoxious, unpleasant and annoying person. In the UK, where these ads ran, it’s a word with strong, divisive impact. In fact, it is banned by mainstream radio stations – which is why we found alternative outlets for our work: Spotify and digital radio stations.
People with diabetes have to regularly check their blood by pricking their finger with a needle around 4,000 times every year. They hate it. But with the Dexcom G6, those days are over. It monitors blood without any needles at all. That means no more pricks. Our ads highlight this massively important product feature by focusing on the fact that in English, there are two types of annoying prick. A very British voice tells us that because there are so many of one type, we made a diabetes monitoring system without the other type.