Prescription Drugs and The Unimpressive

October 20, 2007 at 3:07 am Leave a comment

Have you seen any of the recent ads for the new prescription drugs that are available for erectile dysfunction/ cholesterol/ depression/ hyperactivity/ (insert problem here)?

They all look like this

And this

Why are they so flashy and artistically shot, but so unspectacular? It’s not that the advertisements are bad, but if you keep giving people the same stuff over and over again, how can you stand out?

For the record, the prescription drug formula is:

(aurally) safe and distinct, repetitive music + man or woman in easy voice describing a problem + message about drug= solution.  Insert warning about upset stomach, dysentery, hydrocephalus, etc. etc. + information that product is not be for everyone check with your doctor.

For Quality control – make sure that it is shot with extremely high definition with visual cues (option 1: dark colors at beginning and bright colors once drug is mentioned.  Option 2: illustration of failures at beginning, successes at end) + lots of slow motion + (optional) puppies, babies, special CGI butterflies + product logo.

(Yes that’s a parody. But you get the point.)

How can a customer remember YOUR product?

For example: What are the three major erectile dysfunction medications?

(I’ll give you a second.)

(One more.)

They are Cialis, Viagra, and Levitra. If you’ve ever seen an NFL or MLB game, I know that you have heard of all three. Were you able to remember all of them?

With all that said, Nektar Therapeutics is disappointed with Pfizer for their performance with marketing Exubera. Perhaps I don’t understand the market enough, but it seems to me that the Nektar wasn’t listening to anyone but themselves. The market for Exubera, (diabetes patients) DIDN’T WANT EXUBERA!

Lesson one: When something goes wrong, disengage the finger, engage the thumb. If your product fails, it’s highly likely that it’s your own fault for not doing your homework.

Lesson two: If they spent enough money on the research of the market for Exubera, they would have avoided the embarrassingly costly $2.8 billion mistake. Whoops is right.

(Just so you know, the federal government did that very boring and self-serving study here. Warning: May contain data-like substance! Looks like the format isn’t going anywhere.)


Entry filed under: advertising, marketing. Tags: , , , , .

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