Viagra

Total: $211 million

Pfizer ($PFE) not only increased spending on Viagra last year, but also launched a new kind of spokesperson for ED advertising. For the first time, a woman alone took center stage in ED advertising, with a much more direct approach. The woman talked frankly, saying "You know, plenty of guys have this issue--not just getting an erection, but keeping it." The ad, followed by others with different women also in blue dresses, was meant to be candid and direct, departing from years of marketing via "subtle innuendo," Pfizer's marketing chief told Ad Age.

Direct indeed, but maybe not all that welcome by consumers. Survey takers in a recent Treato study gave the ad a thumbs down for too much information. Almost half (47%) said the ad should only air after 9 p.m., while another 32% said the ad should never be shown on TV.

The female spokeswomen are also a big departure from Viagra's previous blue-filtered macho TV spots featuring masculine older men and a voiceover acknowledging that at this age men "know what you're made of."

Viagra faces counterfeit and black market woes, along with new competition in the U.S. earlier than expected: Two generics are now approved in the U.S. for late 2017, three years before it officially goes off patent there. That likely means difficulty maintaining market share and sustained sales once that happens. In fact, thanks in part to generic competition already allowed in other countries, annual worldwide revenue for Viagra fell last year, finishing the year with $1.7 billion in sales, down 10% year over year.

For more:
Pfizer DTC message: Hey guys, women say it's cool to take Viagra
Pfizer's new #viagracommercial lights up Twitter during MLB playoffs--and not in a good way
The coming generics threat to Pfizer's Viagra brand just got scarier

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