Pfizer wins pharma ad Super Bowl, beating Astellas' Veozah spot

Pfizer won the pharma ad Super Bowl. That’s the conclusion of TV outcomes company EDO, which found Pfizer saw more incremental online activity for its brand than fellow Super Bowl advertiser Astellas after they ran their ads at the big game.

EDO ranked 96 TV spots that ran before, during and after the Super Bowl based on how online consumer behavior changed in the immediate aftermath of the ads. Pfizer’s ad, which enlisted Queen, Einstein and more to show its role in the history of science, placed 36th on the list, tucked in between promotions for Budweiser beer and Lindt chocolate.

Ad performance was indexed to the median-performing in-game spot. Pfizer beat the median by 88%, but the level of engagement it saw was, perhaps unsurprisingly, dwarfed by interest by ads such as Marvel’s teaser for the upcoming "Deadpool & Wolverine" movie. 

Astellas’ ad for its menopause drug Veozah took the 64th spot on the list. The ad generated less than the median level of incremental engagement, according to EDO. Astellas ran the 30-second ad in the same pre-kickoff minute as Marvel’s all-conquering movie trailer. The other ad to run in that slot, a 60-second YouTube TV spot, placed 90th on the list.  

Google data suggest Astellas and Pfizer both enjoyed big bumps on the back of the ads. The search engine tracked a spike in searches of Pfizer after the ad ran, with Massachusetts, Connecticut and New Jersey driving the traffic. Pfizer employs thousands of people across the three states but is cutting jobs in Connecticut and New Jersey.

Search traffic for Veozah spiked, too, driven by traffic from Maine, Kansas and West Virginia. Speaking before the Super Bowl, Jill Jaroch, senior director of women’s health at Astellas, called the sporting event “an incredible platform to showcase the different types of hot flash moments women in midlife may experience.”