Quick—think of the most recent digital ad you saw. Was it automotive? Retail? Most likely. Name almost any other category and the same probably holds true. Brad Weltman
Jeremy Perrott insists that medical and pharmaceutical creative work can be just as sexy as any other form of advertising—perhaps even more so. And if anyone would know, it's Perrott.
It's hard to do good pharmaceutical advertising. You have to talk about illness or debilitation, and mention a sometimes comically lengthy list of side effects. The FDA is looking over your shoulder. It's not the sexiest category. But of course, those challenges can also be what makes it fun.
Imagine peppy 19th and early 20th century ads for over-the-counter drug products containing cocaine and heroin, rewritten with today's medical knowledge. DrugAbuse.com, a resource for addiction treatment, did just that, updating 10 vintage ads for casual use of narcotics to include less blind enthusiasm and more science.
How do you calm grandpa down when he gets in one of his moods? Well, in the 1950s, you cooled him out with some heavy-duty amphetamines. This 1959 magazine ad heralded the wonder drug Thorazine, a failed malaria cure later found to have major sedative effects. This ad also marked the start of the age when consumers began expecting cures for nearly anything from a pill bottle.
This minute-long BBDO spot for Viagra is, apparently, the brand's first to show only a woman, and its first to use the word "erection" outside of the description of side effects.
Since everyone I know is getting married and having children (and making sure Facebook stays informed about every step of those processes), this ad for a fake drug called Not Having Kids is rather timely.
Most presidents go through a second-term depression, but Obama's has been particularly dismal. To help out, Saturday Night Live has introduced Paxil Second Term Strength, a depression medication for the narrowest target market imaginable: the president of the United States.
Monistat used "granny panties" in a recent ad as a metaphor for how women feel when they have a yeast infection. Now, though, after supposed complaints from the granny-panty-wearing community, Monistat is backtracking.
It may not be the fountain of youth, but it could keep you from death's door—pretty much indefinitely.