Ad Stars: McCann HumanCare (Viagra)

Mar 01, 2008
By Pharmaceutical Executive

agency: McCann HumanCare
brand: Viagra
client: Pfizer
photo clockwise from left: Doug Welch, SVP, executive creative director • Henry Schneider, VP, associate creative director • George Capuano, VP, associate creative director • Eric Bet, VP, associate creative director • Simon Hunter, SVP, group account director • Erica Yahr-Rader, SVP, group director, strategic planning • BJ Kaplan, SVP, executive creative director

Who would have thought Elvis's classic "Viva Las Vegas" would be used to market an ED drug? Well, if the drug in question is Viagra—a classic in the pharma world—the two are a match made in rock ?n' roll heaven. The television ad features a group of middle-aged men in a bar singing "Viva Viagra." "The ad is irreverent, and it colors outside the lines," says McCann's Doug Welch. "We wanted to make an ad that's celebratory and full of energy and life. The idea of a group of buddies who jam every week in a roadhouse in an unashamed, unembarrassed way destigmatizes the whole ED category."

The music was originally supposed to be used in the background of stories. To bring the ad to life, the agency decided to make the music the focus of the ad. Instead of a commercial, the spot comes across as more of a music video. Rather than create a campaign that tells people how miserable it is to suffer from ED, the Viagra ad inspires them to take action. By dramatizing the sense of life the band gets through Viagra, it acts as an inspiration for the target audience to travel the same journey.