Why Pharmaceutical Ads and TV Don’t Mix

Pharma advertising is important to the television industry, with over $6 billion dollars spent to advertise and promote drugs and most of those dollars are spent on television advertising (Kantar).

But a big spend does not automatically equate to effective and impactful advertising.  In a recent Marketing Insider (https://goo.gl/9umoK2) commentary by Vince Parry, Founder of Parry Branding Group and former Chief Creative Officer of Young & Rubicam's global healthcare network, highlighted this concern and pointed out some of the issues with pharma advertising on television.

Television is for entertainment

“When people watch TV, they don’t wish to be educated much less reminded of all the ills facing them in the world,” Vince Parry

Drug ads are not entertaining.  People are not excited to learn about constipation, asthma or the other diseases that pharma advertising promotes a solution to.  In attempt to address this dichotomy in message, the pharma advertiser has been forced to present the treatments in a humorous or entertaining fashion, a disservice to both the consumer and the advertiser paying the bill.

Television is not built for longform advertising

“Half a minute or even a minute is not enough time to present any kind of meaningful story about a pharma brand on TV,” Vince Parry

We are used to half of the content of drug ads being used to list the dangers and side effects of the drugs, leaving a consumer who needs to be educated with only 15 to 30 seconds of messaging to learn about an important pharmaceutical product.

The solution for pharmaceutical advertising

To connect with today’s medical consumer, an advertiser needs to reach them through a trusted and engaging medium that is used as a tool of discovery.

To best meet this need, pharma advertisers should double down on newspapers and local online advertising.

  • Newspaper readers across generations identify newspapers as the most trusted source of news and information – ahead of television. (Triad/Coda Ventures)
  • Newspaper ads are valued – eight in ten newspaper readers acted because of reading a newspaper ad in the last month. (NMA)
  • Newspaper ads reach the baby boomer audience - 84% of adults 55+ have acted because of seeing an ad in a print newspaper in the past 30 days. (NMA)
  • Newspapers are rated as more engaging than television, radio and direct mail.  (AOR)

Are you looking promote your health care product through newspapers or their local digital outlets?  MANSI Media can help.  Call our sales team (717-703-3030) and learn how to simplify your print and digital placement across the country.

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