Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Look Out for Sexier Cialis Ads -- Maybe Including Beaver!

Now that the FDA has approved Cialis for once daily use for the treatment of erectile dysfunction (ED; see Lilly press release), expect to see a twist to direct-to-consumer (DTC) ads for the drug: sexier late- night ads!

Lately, almost all ED drug ads -- especially Cialis and Levitra ads -- are focusing a lot more on the women in the ads. Not in any kind of prurient manner as yet, but showing them fairly jumping on their male companions' bones, if you know what I mean. They're acting like horny teenage girls! But it's still very sweet and loving.

ED ads have progressed from older celebrity male endorsers (eg, Bob Dole) to younger male actors only hinting at having a better sex life (Viagra's Joe commercials) to ads that include couples on the verge of having sex. Now, we are about to progress to the next level.

I just learned that Abelson-Taylor (AT) -- the agency that brought us Abe Lincoln and the beaver in the Rozerem ads (see "Rozerem Ads Dis Lincoln, Show Beaver") and Cialis' consumer agency of record -- may be developing a campaign "geared toward men who plan to have sex twice a week or more." This according to my Richard Meyer over at the World of DTC Marketing (see "Cialis to encourage more sex between couples").

AT -- as regular readers of Pharma Marketing Blog know -- is not my favorite ad agency, although they have won numerous awards and kudos from their advertising buddies for creating ads that "break through the clutter" (see here). The most famous AT DTC campaign, of course, are the Rozerem ads that feature Abe Lincoln and a beaver.

So, how can AT "break through" the current clutter of ED ads for once-daily Cialis? You just cannot have the same old doting women clinging to their men and attempting to guide them to the bedroom. That's the clutter right now. No, you have to go to the NEXT step -- women and men together in the bedroom or women wearing sexy Victoria's Secret-style lingerie or, better yet, both!

According to Lilly, "wholesale pricing for Cialis for once daily use will be comparable to Cialis for use as needed such that patients who currently use two or more pills per week of Cialis for use as needed should not experience higher treatment costs with Cialis for once daily use."

Given that marketing must be consistent with this pricing, any DTC campaign MUST appeal to men who want to have sex 2-3 times per week.

What kind of ED ad would appeal to these guys? Not the kind we've been seeing where couples are engaged in pre-coitus romancing. Guys who want sex 2-3 times per week don't have time for leisurely baths, going out to dinner or strolling down a country lane with their partners. They're not the mull cider types -- they want hard liquor and get drunk fast!

We already have Victoria Secret TV ads, sexual encounter pizza ads ("What do we do for the other 28 minutes"), and girl-on-girl mud-fight beer ads. Why not sexy ED drug ads?

I don't think, however, that there will be any "beaver" in the new Cialis ads. I just threw that in the title of this post to get your attention -- to break through the clutter as it were.

2 comments:

  1. Anonymous2:20 PM

    John: I learned today that in fact Grey is still the ad agency of record for Cialis and the Ad Age had reported this story in error.

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  2. I just have to say this, even though you may think it trivial. As does not mean because! In their attempt to make a sofisticated ad, the ad agency resposible comes across gramatically challenged when they say "as this may cause". As does not and never did mean because. Geesh. They should have taken English in highschool! Ha-ha.

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