Pharma brands make the biggest splash for TV ad debuts so far this year

Pharmaceutical drugs made up half of the most-seen new brands by TV ad impressions for the first half of 2023 as the industry looks to boost awareness of its newest offerings.

That’s according to a new report shared with Fierce Pharma Marketing by real-time ad tracker iSpot.TV. The report, which covered ad impressions for the first half of this year, found that pharma brands dominated the top 10 new brands with the highest ad impressions for TV airtime. In fact, pharma brands occupied five out of those spots including the top three positions.

In at No. 1 was Bayer’s OTC antihistamine Astepro, with the German Big Pharma clearly capitalizing on the strong hay fever season this year. That drug saw 7.39 billion TV ad impressions, according to iSpot’s data, by far the most of all new brands, with NBC being its top network.

At No. 2 was AbbVie's immunology drug Skyrizi, which recorded just over 6 billion TV ad impressions specifically for its Crohn's disease label. Additionally, NBC proved to be its largest network in terms of ad impressions.

This year, Skyrizi is competing to have the highest ad spend among all prescription products. AbbVie is aiming to make up for the declining revenue it's experiencing from its aging blockbuster drug Humira.

In third place is Bristol Myers Squibb’s newly approved plaque psoriasis med Sotyktu with 4.3 billion impressions in the first half of this year. ABC was its biggest network in terms of ad impressions.

That dermatology med debuted at the Grammys earlier this year with the spot “Found It,” which focuses on two people who have cleared their skin and gained confidence thanks to Sotyktu, a once-a-day pill approved by the FDA last fall.

The next Big Pharma drug comes in at eighth place with Eli Lilly’s blockbuster-in-waiting diabetes therapy Mounjaro, with just over 3 billion TV ad impressions and ABC as its largest network.

Lilly launched a direct-to-consumer campaign this year for Mounjaro, which received FDA approval in May 2022. Since its advertisement launch in April, the therapy has consistently ranked among the top 10 pharmaceutical TV drug ad spenders. That could jump even more next year as Lilly is angling for the drug to nab a second approval in obesity, which could launch a major market battle with rival Novo Nordisk and its new obesity therapy Wegovy.

Rounding off the pharma top five, and in ninth place overall, is AbbVie’s Skyrizi once again, but this time for its psoriatic arthritis indication, with 2.96 billion impressions and NBC as its top network.