Union Hearing sends a piercing message of concern

The Toronto health centre has placed ads on CBC and Classical FM with a warning to those over the age of 50 to get their ears checked.

Union Hearing Aid Centre is getting under the skin of some in order to prove a point.

Targeting men and women ages 50 and up, the Toronto hearing health service centre has launched a campaign with a minimal buy that includes a TV spot on the CBC and two radio ads airing on Classical 96.3 FM. Planning and purchasing was handled by Initiative Media, with DraftFCB behind the creative.

The TV and one of the radio commercials begins by airing a pleasant melody of birds and in the second radio spot, the sweet sound of babies laughing. However only those who are deaf to the semi-sonic frequency of 14,000 hertz playing in the background can take pleasure in the sounds, with others being subjected to 20 seconds of the piercing frequency. Humans can hear between 20 and 20,000 hertz, with the top end of the range falling each year we get older. The ad ends with a reveal of the hearing test to those who were oblivious to the sound.

“Typically, people who listen to the ad under the age of 30 find it excruciating to listen to. People over 50 don’t hear anything. And the people in between are kind of a mixed bag,” Robin Heisey, CCO, DraftFCB tells MiC.

“Some of the most powerful ads are demonstration ads,” he adds, saying that instead of telling consumers to get their ears checked at Union Hearing, the agency decided to prove it. “The idea is to simply test hearing without people even knowing it.”