The only two pharmaceutical-related TV ads aired during the Super Bowl were flops, according to a Research Brief from The Center for Media Research, which reported on a USA Today survey ("USA TODAY's Super Bowl Ad Meter").
The two 60-second (ie, VERY EXPENSIVE) ads were King Pharmaceuticals' disease awareness heart risk ad ("Guy in heart suit attacked by risks") and Boehringer Ingelheim's Flomax branded DTC ad ("Prostate drug lets men bike, kayak").
You can see all the Super Bowl ads here.
The King Pharma ad scored 5.23 (vs. an 8.56 for the most popular ad, which was Budweiser's 30-second "Crabs worship Bud ice chest" ad. The Flomax ad was one of the 5 least popular with a 4.22 rating.
Popular No, Web Traffic Increase Yes!
With regard to market share of web visits on Super Bowl Sunday versus Feb 3, 2007, King Pharma's site (www.beatyourrisk.com) got the biggest change in market share of all advertisers: 1727%! No surprise there -- it could be that the site's traffic increased from say 10 visitors on February 3, 2007 to about 172 on Super Bowl Sunday. I'd say that was worth the $3-5 million or so King paid for the spot, wouldn't you.
BTW, as pointed out by Insider at PharmaGossip, the biggest risk for heart disease was not mentioned in the ad or included in the calculator at the site. Can you guess what it was?
Decrease in Semen!
Yep, that was a possible side effect mentioned in the Flomax ad along with several others. Is it any wonder this ad was nearly at the bottom of the rating pile! I am NOT making a case for limiting side effect information in DTC ads. But if you are going to show an ad on one of the manliest sports events broadcast in the US, you got to have your head screwed on backwards if your ad mentions "decrease in semen flow!" That kind of ad should only appear when there's less testosterone flowing in the bodies of the target audience.
File this under What were they thinking!