Recently, I was involved in interviewing patients for a chronic disease drug . We were testing multiple concepts for post-launch TV commercials. Before showing any boards, I asked the facilitator to ask a simple question, "Could the patient recall seeing any Ad for a drug in that market?" Shockingly, the answer was often "No" or "What's that drug where they show...?" Stunning, because in that market, competitors as a whole spend over $100 MM annually on TV alone.
Since Viagra, pharma marketers have been "emotionalizing" their drugs. The approach is leading to brand strategies that look similar, even across disease states. They fall into one of 4 buckets:
1) Take my drug - and Be the real you
2) Don't settle for less - Take my drug
3) Take my drug - and Defy the odds
4) Take my drug - and Take control
In this "sea of sameness", it is hard for consumers to tell one pharma brand apart from the other.
[Written by: Sandeep Dayal]