Wednesday, April 11, 2007

TV Pharma Ads Are Not As Effective As Print

Study Reveals TV Pharma Ads Are Not As Effective As Print
by Nina M. Lentini fuseaction=Articles.san&s=58545&Nid=29254&p=204 904

AFFINITY, WHICH RESEARCHED CONSUMER REACTIONS to pharmaceutical advertising in the first quarter of the year, has found that fewer people recall TV drug ads than they do print ads for drugs.

The research and consulting firm surveyed 4,000 people by showing them visual storyboards of direct- to-consumer (DTC) TV ads and found that 36% recalled specific TV campaigns. That compares with 50% that recall specific print campaigns.

However, Affinity also compared consumer reaction among those with and without the medical problems associated with specific drugs and found that those with ailments had higher recall of ads that discussed their ailments and took the most action to find out more about the advertised product. In some cases, the percentage was double or more. For example, 43% of people who suffer with osteoporosis recalled a TV ad for Fosamax Plus D compared with only 19% of non-sufferers.

"Recall can double even though TV is viewed by many as being a broad medium," says Affinity's managing director, Tom Robinson. "The reality is, you're reaching enough of them that you're having impact among the target audience."

The top-recalled DTC categories were sleep disorder at 64% average recall; erectile dysfunction at 42%, and high cholesterol at 42%. Among the top campaigns were those for Lunesta (70% recall), Lamisil (67%) and Nasonex (65%).

Recall scores among women were higher than among men, the study found, while net-action levels generated after exposure were similar. The top actions consumers took were "Have a more favorable opinion about the brand," "Ask a doctor of other medical professional about the product" and "Gather more information about the product."

The campaign that generated the highest action score among consumers was Roche's Tamiflu, a drug designed to treat the flu within the first two days of symptoms.

Nearly 60 unique campaigns ran in the first quarter, Robinson says. One of the general issues addressed by the survey was the way prescription drug advertising is viewed by consumers. "There is some confusion about this category," he notes. "One of the intentions is to get people to comply with their own prescriptions and the numbers show this kind of impact is pretty small."

As for consumer perception, Affinity found that consumers most often turn to "Doctor, nurse or pharmacist," "Friends, colleagues or family members" and "Health-related articles on Web sites" for information about new medications.

Other key findings:

More than eight out of ten consumers (81%) believe that prescription drug commercials should also highlight the potential risks and side effects of the advertised medication.

More than four out of ten consumers (41%) believe that TV commercials are a good way to learn about new prescription drug medications.

One-third of consumers (33%) report that after viewing specific DTC commercials, they were better equipped to talk to their own doctor about potential treatments.

Nina M. Lentini edits Marketing Daily.

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