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Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Oh Yeah, Baby! Show Me More!... Viagra TV Ads Like This. But Don't Let My FDA See It!

Wowie zowie! Is that a roll of dimes quarters in my pocket or am I just excited to see this new Viagra DTC TV ad (also see embedded Youtube version at the end of this post) that features what could be a MILF?


I pity the man who can't get an erection carousing with this woman in a beach resort or even watching her on TV lounging around the beach resort telling you that "plenty of guys" have "this issue"; i.e., getting and maintaining an erection.

Oh, Yeah?! Well. I'm NOT having an issue right now!

Of course, this Viagra ad reneges on Pfizer's pledge back in 2005 to focus more on disease awareness in its DTC advertising. But (1) Pfizer withdrew that pledge (see here), and (2) this ad, IMHO, has sufficient redeeming prurient value to make us forget all about stuff like checking my blood pressure, etc. as a potential cause of ED.

But there's a fly in the ointment (not that I use the stuff). I think FDA will find problems with this ad.

All the "good" stuff -- e.g, Viagra "can help guys get AND keep an erection" -- is mouthed (and I mean lots of mouth!) by this WOMAN with a sexy British accent, whereas all the "bad" stuff -- e.g., "ask your doctor if your heart is healthy enough for sex" (yeah, I'll do that next time) and "abnormal vision" (who cares?) -- is done via a MAN's voice. Talk about "cock blocking" dude!

This is what you see during the voice over citing all the required ISI (important safety information):

Obviously, she's no longer interested!

FDA may not like this because it wants to see that the benefit and side effect portions of ads are given equal weight in terms of text, voice overs and visuals. The FDA is trying to determine whether the use of competing, "compelling" visual information about potential drug benefits interferes with the viewers' processing and comprehension of risk information about drugs in DTC advertising or with their cognitive representations of the drugs (here). And the Agency has already cited this as violative in at least one warning letter.

I wouldn't be surprised, therefore, if doctors or key opinion leaders employed by GSK, which markets Cialis, notify FDA's BadAd program about this obvious misalignment. Obviously, any man worth his salt (or Viagra-HCL) would tune out as soon as the voiceover guy starts talking and the sexy woman walks off into the sunset.

But, you know what? Go ahead, tell the FDA. By the time FDA gets around to sending Pfizer a letter, the ad will have run its course and done its work driving "plenty of guys" to their physicians.
UPDATE: @RxRegA on Twitter wondered how much time was devoted to the woman talking about benefits versus the voice over talking about risks. Good question -- it's something the FDA takes into consideration when reviewing DTC ads. So I measured what I call the MILF (benefits) to Cock Blocker (risks) ratio in this ad. MILF = 33 seconds; Cock Blocker = 24 seconds (a ratio of 1.375). That is, 38% more time is spent on benefits than on risks.
One final point or two.

Although the voiceover is male, there are no males within eyeshot in this commercial. None of that touchy-feely, two-tub namby pamby stuff that Cialis ads feature. To paraphrase my favorite line in the movie "It's a Wonderful Life," this Viagra ad is for men who want to get hard fast and don't need props (e.g., bath tubs) around to give the ad "atmosphere"!

It used to be that Viagra ads included a man/husband and a woman/wife (who was silent for the most part), but then Pfizer focused solely on virile men (see, for example, "Be a Macho Man! Ask Your Doctor for Viagra!"). Now Pfizer has come full circle and has a Viagra ad that features all woman and no man. Interesting.

Here's the full commercial as seen on Youtube:



2 comments:

  1. Anonymous2:43 PM

    I DON'T APPRECIATE THESE ADS AT ALL. THEY SHOULD BE BANNED!!
    VERY UNECESSARY!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:30 AM

      Well then, just ask your elected official to start a motion to repeal the first amendment.

      Delete

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