Creativity and Clarity Key to Recall of Drug Ads

Last week, I  wrote about how the medical journal industry is expecting a brighter outlook for 2010.  TV also continues to be a huge area of focus for pharmaceutical companies. The Nielsen Company reported that drug companies increased their 2009 expenditures on national TV by 0.6%.  And big spending was carried out by several top brands which allocated more than $100 million each on TV. The top 5 prescription brands advertised on TV last year were:

  • Lipitor
  • Cialis
  • Abilify
  • Cymbalta
  • Plavix

Did the big expenditure on TV translate into better consumer recall? Not according to Nielsen IAG research. Their findings show that the ads with the best recall levels were:

  • Flomax
  • Gardasil
  • Pristiq
  • Aricept

Pharmaceutical companies are faced with some key challenges when marketing their products. Lately, they have been forced to extend TV ads to as long as 75 seconds to discuss product claim information. And they worry that lengthy commercials may lose consumer attention. But Fariba Zamaniyan, Senior Vice President within the healthcare practice of Nielsen IAG, notes that  several of most recalled ads last year were longer than 60 seconds. Zamaniyan says that other factors play a role in grabbing consumer attention. “Creativity and clarity are essential ingredients for effective and efficient ad development and deployment. “ And she believes  that “compelling and unique creative executions” will help a drug company stand out from the competition.

The findings from this study indicate that drug marketers may continue to advertising products on national TV and extend their message to 75 seconds while attempting fresh creative approaches to grab consumer attention.
[Source: Most Recalled Drug Commercials Are not the Biggest Spenders. Nielsenwire​.com. 8 Apr. 2010. Web. 19 Apr. 2010] 

Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.