DTC TV ads on the Super Bowl

Two DTC ads ran during the Super Bowl, one did what is was supposed to the other was off base and ruined by creative execution.  Was it worth it?

When the Cialis brand team, that I was part of, decided to run a Cialis DTC ad during the Super Bowl it was an excellent choice.  The objective was to raise awareness of a 3rd to market ED drug and it succeeded beyond our wildest dream driving record traffic to our website which we had on two servers to ensure it wouldn’t crash.

During the Super Bowl last night there were two ads that ran for prescription drugs.  One was for OIC, which I thought was well done if the objective was to raise awareness that there are treatments available.  However, as Robin Williams once joked, people who are on opioid pain killers are very aware that a side effect is constipation.

While a lot of people are making fun of the ad there is a lot of social media buzz around both the ad and OIC.  If the objective was to raise awareness it succeeded.

The other ad was for Xifaxan which is touted as one of the worst ads to run and I could not agree more.  Using a character based on your intestines was, frankly, stupid.  Instead what they should have conveyed is how irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea effects people and interfere’s with quality of life.

This is what happens when agencies try to be too cute. I’m sure they tested the ad and have research to validate their using Mr Intestine but there are times when common sense tells you “don’t do it”.

The ads were rumored to cost $3 million a piece, but that does not take into account any media bundling deals which can discount then buy.  Still, if I had a $3 million budget for DTC I could have provided a better ROI via digital than on TV but then it’s not as glamorous.