Cialis, Cymbalta Lead 2008's Most Recalled Drug Ads | Adweek Cialis, Cymbalta Lead 2008's Most Recalled Drug Ads | Adweek
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Cialis, Cymbalta Lead 2008's Most Recalled Drug Ads

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Eli Lilly produced three of the top four most-recalled prescription drug and vaccine ads on TV last year, according to new research released today by The Nielsen Company (the parent of Brandweek).

The ranking revealed that a spot for Eli’s Cialis was the most often recalled new pharmaceutical ad 2008.  The ad was recalled by viewers at a rate 55% greater than the average based on all new prescription drug ads launched over the past year.  The erectile dysfunction drug ad features a couple interrupted from an intimate moment by a surprise visit from their daughter.

“Prescription drug and vaccine advertisers have learned to adjust to the obstacles that they encountered back in 2007,” said Fariba Zamaniyan, Senior Vice President of the Healthcare practice at Nielsen IAG. “They’ve found a way to deliver more memorable ads that resonate with the audience.”

An execution for Eli’s anti-depressant drug Cymbalta was the second most-recalled pharmaceutical ad of 2008 with a creative extending from its “Depression Hurts” campaign.  The ad indexed at 151, meaning it was recalled 51% more often than the average prescription drug ad.  Another Cialis spot - featuring a man and woman seated on an elevated spot overlooking a beach - placed fourth with an index of 127. Loestrin24 Fe -- a birth control pill manufactured by Warner Chilcott -- was the only non-Eli Lilly drug ad to break-through within the top 4 with an index of 143.

The results of 2008’s pharmaceutical ad recall index showed a return to levels from previous years after a noticeable drop in 2007, when index measurements topped out at 138. Industry experts attributed that decline to more conservative spots by advertisers affected by economic restraints and public criticism of the drugs themselves.

Nielsen’s recall index is limited to responses among adults 18+ who correctly recalled the storyline of the ads they were exposed to within 24 hours after airing. Only ads airing during primetime on broadcast networks were included in the ranking.  The ads are measured at comparable media weight to control for differing weight levels across the campaigns.