All Eyes on You - Pharmaceutical Executive


All Eyes on You
Eye-movement recorders scan eyes to determine where ads succeed—and fail

Pharmaceutical Executive

ROZEREM: The Rozerem ads don't work for many reasons. First of all, we found out the beaver was a turnoff. Whenever test group respondents would focus on it, their interest went down like a rock. In addition, they remembered the beaver and Abe Lincoln, but they couldn't remember the name of the product. On top of that, we found the ad was very poor in terms of "Is this brand unique?" Readers had no idea what made this product different.

There are several mistakes here. First is the headline: It isn't easy to read against the background. Second is the body copy underneath: "It is the first and only prescription sleep aid that...shows no potential for drug abuse or dependence." Why is that there? Why isn't that as big as "Your Dreams Miss You"? If that's their key point, it should be in bold letters.

Rozerem has invested a great deal of money in an integrated campaign incorporating print ads and television commercials. This particular ad, on its own, does not readily convey what the product does or its benefits. In fact, our test showed that fewer than 3 percent read the key copy in the third line describing this product's uniqueness.

PATADAY: I understand that the red color is intended to indicate itchy eyes, but take a look at how hard it is to read the words "Itchy Allergy Eyes." That's genius. Why not make that font three times bigger? Also, why not have the name Pataday above the words "Once-a-Day Relief?" Also, the body copy could be cut down and turned into three bullet points. That would direct reader attention and unclutter the ad. Bullets say "I am making the text easy for you to follow."

The background of the Pataday ad made readership of the key copy (across the eyes) almost impossible, as was readership of the product in the lower right corner. For a new product, it is highly unusual for the ad design to so overwhelm the copy as to make it unreadable. There was almost no opportunity to brand the product, and it's ironic that this is a product for eyes when the copy is so difficult to see. Also, breaking up a line of copy right across the center of the ad—as is done to the right and left of the eyes—is not recommended.

Lee Weinblatt is founder and CEO of PreTesting. He can be reached at


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