Cialis

Total: $248.7 million

Years of snickers and late night talk show jokes have yet to slow Eli Lilly's ($LLY) Cialis aggressive ad spending for its erectile dysfunction drug, which took over the No. 1 spot in 2014, according to Nielsen figures. Lilly increased spending on Cialis by 15% over 2013, while its sales for 2014 topped $2.3 billion for Cialis, a 6% increase in sales over the previous year.

TV ads for Cialis continued the drug's long-running theme spotlighting the importance of women in men's lives in an effort to appeal to both male and female customers with taglines such as, "She reminds you every day" and "She's still the one for you." The much-discussed and memorable, although also maligned, image of couples in adjoining bathtubs in outdoor scenes have transitioned to a kind of informal logo for the brand, and they now appear as a shadow graphic at the end of its TV commercials.

Cialis faces patent expiration in the U.S. and Europe in 2017, and Lilly has already struck a deal with Sanofi ($SNY) to bring an OTC version of Cialis to those markets and others. While not yet approved, the move to OTC status as a strategy could give Lilly an advantage over competitor Pfizer's ($PFE) Viagra. An OTC Cialis removes the social stigma for men who are reluctant to go to their doctors for ED issues and may temper the counterfeit market, which is rampant for those drugs.

For more:
Sanofi, Lilly hook up to switch impotence remedy Cialis to OTC
My bathtub or yours? How a panned Cialis ad became promotional gold
DTC ad viewers really do ask their doctors about new meds, survey finds

Read more on

Suggested Articles

Without any new data, Sarepta appealed an FDA rejection and got a surprising nod for Vyondys 53—its second med approved on a surrogate marker.

Roche’s Tecentriq and Cotellic pairing went 0 for 1 in phase 3 melanoma trials—but Friday, they reversed that trend in a Zelboraf combo test.

The FDA's ad watchdog served its most serious violation to Alkermes Wednesday—and it took the unusual step of announcing that violation to the world.