The Nasonex bee, voiced by Antonio Banderas, was a popular fellow last year. The animated 30-second spot, bested the Rozerum beaver and Chantix's turtle and hare as the most recalled new pharma television ad of 2007, according to IAG Research.
Here's how the rest fared:
What is most surprising is that of the top five ads, three of the drugs are currently under fire in the media. Chantix has been attacked for its adverse effects, Lipitor was forced to drop its spokesperson, and Vytorin is still reeling from the ENHANCE study.
In addition, the Nasonex ad team switched gears in 2008 and is taking a completely different approach to marketing the allergy medication. In the new spots the consumer-friendly cartoon animation has been removed in favor of slice of life advertising.
"There are cutbacks in the amount of mass media spend that is happening in national TV, so we have seen the volume of advertising begin to decline," said Fariba Zamaniyan, senior vice president of healthcare at IAG Research. "It will be interesting to see as the weeks move on, how Nasonex will do."
Zamaniyan also notes that Crestor is back on air and they have reverted back to a more conservative approach in execution with physician presence. They are no longer using a celebrity and prominence of a jiggle. All the things that made it a break through campaign back in the day.
"At the end of the day, if you are going to launch an ad campaign, those conservative approaches might not always be the best approach when it comes to making break-through advertising," Zamaniyan told Pharm Exec on Tuesday. "If an ad does breaks through it then becomes the duty of the pharmaceutical companies to fall within guidelines and make sure that the intended audience is being persuaded to take action."
Case in point: Rozerem. New versions of the controversial ad series still have a unique copy and creative that makes them memorable with television viewers. However, the drug has yet to dig itself out of third place amongst sleep aids. The number two drug in the insomnia category, Sepracor's Lunesta is tied for seven on the recalled ad list and Ambien is nowhere in sight.
"[The Rozerem ad] was memorable, but once it came to persuading action, it comes down to whether patients get the prescription when they ask the doctor," Zamaniyan said. "There's a big bridge to cross when it comes to advertising handing the baton over to the action that happens in the physician's office."
For a detailed look at the top 10 list and a description of the television spots visit blog.pharmexec.com.