In May TV spending, Sunovion jumps to 2nd, but AbbVie easily keeps top spot

watching tv
Pharma TV advertising reached almost $160 million among top 10 spenders holding steady over the past few months. (iStock)

While Humira held its ad spending crown yet again in May, Latuda jumped up to knock Lyrica from the No. 2 spot it's held for the past few months. Sunovion started revving up its Latuda outlays in April, but jacked up spending by 67% in May, according to data from real-time TV ad tracker iSpot.tv.

What's behind the leap? Perhaps a couple of new markets for Sunovion. Latuda recently won a pair of new indications in young patients; it was approved in March for bipolar depression in patients aged 10-17 and in January for schizophrenia in patients ages 13-17.

The company didn't change its creative for the TV ad, though. The work that Sunovion is spending on now is the same ad, featuring a young mother, that's been on the air since September 2016. The pharma spent $120 million on that one ad over that 21-month period, according to iSpot.tv data.

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Botox Cosmetic joined the list this month as Allergan shelled out heavily on a new campaign to generate brand awareness as potential rivals begin to circle its attractive market share. It's the first time the cosmetic treatment has made the list since FiercePharma began tracking the numbers in October 2015.

Plus, as oncology DTC grows, so do the cancer brands making the top 10 spenders list. Eli Lilly’s breast cancer drug Verzenio came in at No. 7 after it began its first-ever TV campaign in April, pushing the message that patients with metastatic breast cancer are as relentless as the disease. Merck’s Keytruda also made the list in May, thanks to heavy rotation of new creative that debuted in mid-April, continuing its “Tru” brand positioning using real patients. The commercial features a man and his family, with Roger telling his story of an advanced small cell lung cancer diagnosis and his new hope with Keytruda.

Total pharma ad spending on TV media among the top 10 was $160 million, up from $147 million in April and $156 million in March.

1. Humira
Movement:
Stayed same
What is it? AbbVie anti-inflammatory drug
Total estimated spending: $34.3 million (up from $29.6 million in April)
Number of spots: 11 (Four for arthritis, three for ulcerative colitis/Crohn's, two for psoriasis)
Biggest-ticket ad: “Your Wake-Up Call” for arthritis (est. $12 million)

 

2. Latuda
Movement: Up from No. 10
What is it? Sunovion Pharmaceutical antipsychotic
Total estimated spending: $16.2 million (up from $9.7 million in April)
Number of spots: One
Biggest-ticket ad: “Maya’s Story”

 

 

3. Lyrica
Movement: Down from No. 2
What is it? Pfizer seizure and pain drug
Total estimated spending: $15.7 million (down from $19.5 million in April)
Number of spots: Seven
Biggest-ticket ad: “Most People” (est. $5.8 million)

 

 

4. Xarelto
Movement: Stayed same
What is it? Johnson & Johnson next-gen anticoagulant
Total estimated spending: $15.3 million (down from $15.4 million in April)
Number of spots: Three
Biggest-ticket ad: “Selective” ($7.8 million)

 

 

5. Otezla
Movement: Up from No. 6
What is it? Celgene's oral treatment for plaque psoriasis
Total estimated spending: $14.8 million (up from $11.4 million in April)
Number of spots: One
Biggest-ticket ad: “Little Things Can Be a Big Deal”
(Ad not available on iSpot at request of advertiser.)

 

6. Botox Cosmetic
Movement: Not on list last month
What is it? Allergan’s neurotoxin treatment for facial wrinkles
Total estimated spending: $14.7 million
Number of spots: Two
Biggest-ticket ad: “The Details” featuring a male actor (est. $8.5 million)

 

7. Verzenio
Movement: Not on list last month
What is it? Eli Lilly breast cancer drug
Total estimated spending: $12.8 million
Number of spots: Two
Biggest-ticket ad: “Relentless” (est. $12.5 million)

 

 

8. Eliquis
Movement: Not on list last month
What is it? Pfizer and Bristol-Myers Squibb anticoagulant
Total estimated spending: $12.5 million
Number of spots: Three
Biggest-ticket ad: “What’s Next” (est. $10.8 million)

 

 

9. Trulicity
Movement:
Down from No. 3
What is it? Eli Lilly GLP-1 diabetes drug
Total estimated spending: $11.8 million (down from $16.1 million in April)
Number of spots: Two
Biggest-ticket ad: “Make Your Own Insulin” (est. $6.7 million)

 

 

10. Keytruda
Movement: Not on list last month
What is it? Merck’s PD-L1 cancer fighter
Total estimated spending: $11.6 million
Number of spots: Two
Biggest-ticket ad: “It’s TRU: Roger’s Story”