Viagra commercial shows the true power of the female ad dollar

Published On October 6, 2014 | By Alice Cook

I have dedicated the better part of the last four years to proving out a concept.  The basic premise starts with the fact that the female sports audience has exploded to almost half of all viewership.  Combine this sociological phenomena with the research that has proven women do 85% of the household shopping, and what you have is the perfect cocktail for advertisers, sponsors, and forward thinking entreprenuers.

While network executives have been slow to pick up on this golden nugget editorially, sponsors have been crowding the bandwagon for quite some time.

We have seen commercials during NFL football coverage for jewelry, mini-vans, and low calorie beer.   We have seen ads with women going crazy for their teams at  games, at tail gate parties, or in a crowded co-ed family room.  We have seen two women in a Geico commercial wearing opposing NHL hockey jerseys- the girl on the left is wearing a Philadelphia Flyers sweater, and the one on the right is sporting the black and gold of the Boston Bruins. They are on side by side treadmills trying to knock the snot out of each other with speed and dirty looks.

Cars, glitz, booze, insurance- they all make sense to the sponsors considering the audience size and the billions of dollars the female fan’s wallet represents.

And now we have a female pitch for Viagra.  

That’s right.  After years of watching middle age men talk about their erectile dysfunction, we now are hearing  from a hot middle age babe who assures us that “plenty of guys have this issue.”

According to Ad Week, this new commercial is not only  featuring a woman, it’s also targeting the female audience.

After all, in the end it’s a win-win for everyone, right?   Take a look:

I think I am not alone in saying ED commercials have created more than a few awkward situations through the years.  I have been watching football with my son since he was four years old.

My husband or I would switch the channel, start talking about anything (really loudly) or ask the kid if his home work was done when these commercials aired. It was an uncomfortable situation from pre-school right through high school.  I have friends, both male and female, who told me they purposely don’t watch sports on TV with their  younger kids because of the ED commercial timeouts.

For the record, my son is now 21 and in college where he watches games with his buddies. It’s a place we can assume the market for this medication is next to zero.

So why now? And most importantly, why a woman?

My research tells me that Pfizer, the company that manufactures this wonder drug is worried about competition. There are already cheaper varieties of the magic pill all over Europe.  In three years Pfizer Inc’s patent will expire which means the cheaper version will be available in the U.S.

Executives at the New York based Pfizer are hoping the new ad will help women to talk more openly with their guy about “the subject.”

It will be fascinating to see what happens from here.  How will the guys react to this hot babe saying,”it’s just you and your honey.”  Do my girlfriends really want this bodacious woman cooing to their guys about sex in the middle of a Patriots game?

I had one male friend tell me that a lot of men would maybe never get “one again” after watching this commercial. “It could finish them off entirely.”

I guess you have to be a guy to understand what that means, but for whatever reason I thought the comment was hilarious.

The numbers don’t lie.  Viagra was a 1.9 billion dollar product last year.  Women make approximately 80 percent of the healthcare choices for their families, and are responsible for almost 90% of the household spending. Now we watch pro sports with a vengeance,  and 6 million women play fantasy football.

I wonder how Viagra’s chief rival Cialis will react.  Is it a copy cat league? Is the best offense a great defense? Will this be a better rivalry than the Bears and Packers? Will both corporations have Super Bowl  ads featuring sexy women? The possibilities are endless.

Game on.

 

 

 

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About The Author

is a veteran television sports reporter and Olympian. Her experience includes 25 years of sports reporting for WBZ-TV, the CBS and former NBC affiliate in Boston. Cook has worked for ESPN, Turner Sports, and WTBS. Cook is a feature writer for She’s Game Sports and Boston.com. She is also President and Founder of She’s Game Sports LLC.