Super Bowl DTC Debut Was It Good for You?
The brouhaha over the Super Bowl XXXVIII half-time show brought some unwelcome attention as well to direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising. A Comedy Central skit after the game, for instance, included blurred video of Janet Jackson’s breast, an ad featuring a flatulent horse, and the Cialis logo. Not an auspicious Super Bowl debut for DTC advertising!

Prior to the Super Bowl, Cialis ads, like those for Viagra and Levitra — all of which are indicated for erectile dysfunction (ED) — were of the “reminder” type in which no disclosure is required because no indication is mentioned. At the Super Bowl, however, Cialis became the first drug in this category to mention erectile dysfunction.

Was it appropriate to run these ED drug ads during the SuperBowl? Which DTC campaign-including Viagra, which did not run and ad during the game-is most effective and why? These questions and others were included in a survey of PHARMA-MKTING listserv members. The results are summarized in this article.

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Issue: Vol. 3, No. 2: February 2004
Word Count: 1319

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