3 Things Nurse Jackie Teaches Us About Marketing

3 Things Nurse Jackie Teaches Us About Marketing
Image Credit: Facebook/Nurse Jackie

For the past month I’ve been binge watching Showtime’s Nurse Jackie on Netflix.

Although the behind-the-scenes insight into what happens in an ER and scandalous, narcotics-munching main character drew me in, the show’s ties to some major brands makes it incredibly interesting from a marketing perspective.

Some of the product mentions are so smooth, they don’t feel like blatant sponsored ads sprinkled throughout the comedy. And the way the writers tie in the products are fun to study, well, if you’re into content marketing.


Here are a few of my observations that content writers for brands might find helpful when penning their next blog post.

1. Rarely mention your product directly.

During the show, the nurses are perpetually buying snacks and random goodies at the newsstand. Zoey is addicted to Sour Patch Kids. Tic Tacs make regular appearances. You see the name brands, but nobody is blatantly professing their love for a specific product. Well, except for Dr. Cooper. He is perpetually fueled by Quizno’s.

In content marketing, you must entice your audience with the same approach. It’s fine to casually link back to a page about your products or services, and mention them on occasion, but don’t name names over and over again. Instead, offer helpful, actionable advice. Brand recognition and sales will naturally follow.

2. Tell a personal story in each piece of content.

On every single episode of Nurse Jackie, viewers are introduced to a few patients who are admitted to the ER and cared for by Jackie and her crew. In the 30-minute time slot we get to know one patient in detail, learn about them beyond their medical issues and see how the team at All Saints Hospital intervenes in their lives.

Each piece of content you create should also have that personalized approach. Tell a bit of first-person narrative or a story that the reader can relate to as you launch into your main topic.

3. Focus on promoting the results, not the products or services.

It’s no secret that Jackie has a major drug abuse problem. In the first two seasons, she hides her addiction and show viewers all the things she can do with the help of narcotics. She can work doubles shifts. She has more energy for her family. She manages her staff with an iron fist. She even uses the drugs as a way to solidify her unethical, marriage-crushing affair she has at work. She focuses on all the positives of taking copious amounts of Percoset, Vicodin and Fentanyl.

There will always be readers and competitors who doubt your products and services. Look past that and educate readers about the benefits and help them see how they can empower themselves, with a little help from your business.

Are you a Nurse Jackie fan? Let’s chat in the comments below or on Facebook!

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