Pharma's TV ad spending level sets in June, with AbbVie, Sanofi and Regeneron leading the way

watching TV
TV viewers still see plenty of pharma commercials even as the COVID-19 pandemic cuts into other industries' spending. (Getty Images)

While pharma TV spending dipped in June, it was actually a back-to-normal summer month. The top 10 TV buyers' total spending was $141 million, almost the same as the $140 million from June 2019, according to data from real-time TV ad tracker iSpot.tv.

That doesn’t necessarily mean the industry is back to normal, but it is a positive sign in light of the fact that most other industries continue to cut TV advertising budgets. Ad tracker and researcher eMarketer recently revised its spending projections for upfront TV buying and now predicts a 27.1% decline in the important pre-purchasing media season. The new total of $14.8 billion is down from the pre-COVID-19 pandemic expectation of $20.1 billion. Overall, eMarketer expects TV spending to be down $7 billion during the 2020-2021 season that typically begins running in the fall.

Pharma marketers, meanwhile, remain mostly on par with last year’s TV ad spending. AbbVie continued in the top spending spot in June, buying $44.3 million worth of TV time for its Humira brands, according to iSpot. It was followed by Sanofi and Regeneron’s type 2 anti-inflammatory med Dupixent at $13.1 million in June TV media buys.

Offers of financial assistance continue to be well-represented in the TV messages. Half of Humira’s TV commercials in June, for instance, mentioned that AbbVie “may be able to help” with financial assistance. Other brands, including Novo Nordisk’s Ozempic and Sunovion’s Latuda, have switched over almost completely to commercials that include a financial savings message at the end.

Overall, the top 10 pharma brands spent $141 million in June, down from $149 million in May, which was a decrease from $183 million in April.

1. Humira
Movement:
Stayed same
What is it? AbbVie anti-inflammatory drug
Total estimated spending: $44.3 million (up from $32.5 million in May)
Number of spots: Six (Three for arthritis/psoriasis, three for ulcerative colitis/Crohn's)
Biggest-ticket ad: “You Inspired Us: May Be Able to Help" (est. $17.5 million)


2. Dupixent
Movement:
Stayed same
What is it? Regeneron and Sanofi's atopic dermatitis and asthma treatment
Total estimated spending: $13.1 million (down from $19.1 million in May)
Number of spots: Four (Three for atopic dermatitis, one for asthma)
Biggest-ticket ad: “Roll Up Your Sleeves: Financial Situation” (est. $9.2 million)


3. Xeljanz
Movement:
Up from No. 6
What is it? Pfizer oral rheumatoid arthritis therapy
Total estimated spending: $12.5 million (up from $11.5 million in May)
Number of spots: Three
Biggest-ticket ad: "Mornings: Take Your Daughter to Work" (est. $6 million)


4. Trulicity
Movement:
Not on list last month
What is it? Eli Lilly GLP-1 diabetes drug
Total estimated spending: $11.5 million
Number of spots: Three
Biggest-ticket ad: “Power: Day of Work: $25 Savings” (est. $10.4 million)


5. Descovy
Movement:
Down from No. 4
What is it? Gilead Sciences next-gen PrEP HIV drug
Total estimated spending: $11.3 million (down from $14.3 million in May)
Number of spots: One
Biggest-ticket ad: “Prep Up”


6. Ozempic
Movement:
Up from No. 8
What is it? Novo Nordisk GLP-1 diabetes med
Total estimated spending: $10.8 million (up from $10.1 million in May)
Number of spots: Two
Biggest-ticket ad: “Musicians: One-Month or Three-Month” ($10.7 million)


7. Latuda
Movement:
Stayed same
What is it? Sunovion Pharmaceutical anti-psychotic
Total estimated spending: $9.9 million (same as $9.9 million in May)
Number of spots: One
Biggest-ticket ad: “Lauren's Story: Here for You"


8. Eliquis
Movement:
Not on list last month
What is it? Pfizer and Bristol-Myers Squibb next-gen anticoagulant
Total estimated spending: $9.3 million
Number of spots: Five
Biggest-ticket ad: “What’s Next” (est. $2.6 million)


9. Rinvoq
Movement:
Down from No. 5
What is it? AbbVie JAK inhibitor to treat rheumatoid arthritis
Total estimated spending: $9 million (down from $12.9 million in May)
Number of spots: One
Biggest-ticket ad: “Your Mission: Paying for Your Medicine"


10. Skyrizi
Movement:
Stayed same
What is it? AbbVie IL-23 next-gen psoriasis treatment
Total estimated spending: $8.8 million (up from $8.7 million in May)
Number of spots: Four
Biggest-ticket ad: “Nothing Is Everything” (est. $4.2 million)
 

 

Suggested Articles

Life sciences companies have pivoted quickly during COVID-19 - Syneos Health® is supporting more than 80 active COVID-19 projects, including vaccines.

New York's Covaxx has signed on with three South American nations to provide 140 million doses of its early-stage COVID-19 vaccine.

To get the COVID-19 vaccine out quickly, Pfizer has been running rehearsals at distribution sites, creating "growing confidence," U.S. officials said.