If you have watched the ads aired during the Super bowl matches, then probably you are convinced that Erectile Dysfunction is a problem of epidemic proportions. Whether on television, radio, magazines, or billboards, pharmaceutical advertisements are unavoidable. The Erectile Wars are partly fought on the home turf of the Idiot Box. The size of T.V. viewership makes it worthwhile to spend millions on T.V. spots. Brand selling via Prime Time Commercials is a multi-million dollar strategy.
THE ubiquitous sports-themed advertisements for Viagra and Levitra and the romantic ads for the new Cialis are designed to de-stigmatize impotence for the estimated 30 million U.S. sufferers.
Ed Drug advertising is done with the charm and élan of Icon models. Levitra is promoted by football coach Iron Mike Ditka, one of the sports all-time macho figures. Mike Ditka touts Levitra by telling men to “stay in the game” with Levitra. Viagra commercials show NASCAR driver Mark Martin saying that with Viagra, he knows a little something about making good moves.
Breaking away from its rivals, Cialis has come out in the open to actually state what condition the medication treats. Full marks for being brave! Frankness marks the commercial characterized by sexual innuendo, insinuation, and allusion. It aims at scoring over the staying power of Cialis for 36 hours whereas rivals drugs Viagra and Levitra last for barely 4 hours.
The slickly made commercial features a relaxed middle-aged couple in bath tubs overlooking a verdant valley with smooth jazz playing in the background. The commercial is in complete contrast with those for Viagra which is endorsed by celebrity athletes or the Levitra’s suggestive images of footballs going through swinging tires. Take, for instance, the Levitra commercial shows a middle-aged man unable to toss a football through a swinging tire. Then he takes Levitra and his accuracy is perfect. The claim is obvious that he is fit to “Stay in the Game” because he takes Levitra.
In contrast, the Cialis commercial lays emphasis on the staying power of Cialis “lasts for 36 hours” ….The idea is to show couples in scenes that suggest no urgent time constraints or pressure to perform. Unlike, Levitra and Viagra, the ads are not aimed at men only but women as well. They ads are designed to appeal to couples, particularly the women, on themes of relaxation, spontaneity, intimacy and romance. They will be shown on shows that women watch, like ‘Oprah’.
The full branded advertising won’t start for two months. It will depend on how people take to the ‘remainder ads’. This is different from either Viagra or Levitra who have not run anything more than reminder ads for their products.Lilly and ICOS feel that full-branded ads would be the best way to publicize to buy Cialis due to its long duration of 36 hours of effectiveness. Viagra and Levitra are effective for much shorter time spans. Trade publications have estimated the three drugs will account for $400 million to $500 million in ad spending this year.
The Cialis commercial heralds the beginning of multimillion dollar advertising war for dominance in the nearly $2 billion drug category. The aggressive advertising is likely to compel more men to seek treatment for ED. The commercials kick off during largely watched big sporting events like Super Bowl or PGA Tour. The Super Bowl has become as much a competition among the top creative minds in the advertising industry as it is for quarterbacks and linebackers.
Drug Advertising and accountability:
This onslaught of advertisements urging us to ask our doctor about a drug without revealing the condition it is supposed to treat raises questions about drug advertising and accountability. General warnings (for example, see your doctor) in (direct-to-consumer) advertisements do not give the consumer a sufficient understanding of the risks inherent in product use. At a time when pills are touted on TV and the Internet, the doctor’s traditional role as a learned intermediary has been undermined. Pharmaceutical manufacturers should be held accountable for failing to warn consumers directly of the dangers posed by their products.