DTC TV ads don’t drive new Rxs. People today have become savvier about how they determine which drugs they’ll ask about. TV ads do drive awareness, but the path between awareness and asking for the product is a long one with many twists and turns.
Pharma companies have invested heavily in television advertising to promote their products directly to consumers. These ads, often featuring happy people enjoying life after taking a particular medication, have become familiar during commercial breaks. However, it’s becoming increasingly evident that these pharmaceutical TV ads may not be as effective as initially thought. It’s time to reevaluate the impact of these commercials and consider whether they truly serve the best interests of the pharma industry and the general public.
The use of TV for new pharma drugs is a great way to build awareness but when the incidence of your patient population is 20 per 10000 it’s a waste of money. This is especially true when your product has a black box warning.
Consumers do pay attention to DTC ads for prescription drugs. A study by the Pew Research Center found that 72% of adults have seen a DTC ad for a prescription drug in the past year. Of those who have visited a DTC ad, 57% said that the ad made them more likely to ask their doctor about the drug.
For DTC marketers, TV is still the yellow brick road, but DTC ads are becoming a nuisance for consumers. Although research continually shows that DTC TV ads are becoming less effective, drug companies insist on spending millions on developing and airing the spots. “What we have here is failure to communicate.” Indeed.
Consumers would ask their doctor about an advertised prescription drug in a perfect world. In our REAL world, that isn’t the way it happens. Is there a disconnect between what DTC marketers think will happen and what happens with DTC?
The pandemic is changing consumer behavior, and there is zero chance they will return to their carefree spending ways. Using the same ads to advertise prescription drugs repeatedly is a waste of money and doesn’t lead to sales.
OPENING: TV is great at creating awareness, but it can also scare patients away if one of your side effects is “may lead to death.” This is one side effect that stands out when your target audience watches your spot along with “serious heart rhythm problems” and “new cancers have happened during treatment.”