Merck's Gardasil goes to the movies

Seems like a match made in marketing heaven. Merck has been pushing its Gardasil vaccine--designed to prevent cervical cancer and genital warts by fending off the human papilloma virus--via ads in movie theaters showing Sex and the City. The ads are ostensibly aimed at the 19-to-26-year-old females likely to see the movie, which is, not incidentally, a clear target for the HPV shot. The vaccine is approved for girls and young women age nine to 26.

The ads also will be shown in tandem with other summer releases, such as Get Smart and The Incredible Hulk, two films not so focused on the young female audience. The speculation? That Merck is building up awareness of Gardasil among young males, who can also carry the HPV virus--and might be Gardasil customers if the company gets FDA approval to market it directly to them.

- read the article in Time