PFIZER CORPORATE AD PUSH AIMS TO BUILD AWARENESS: VIAGRA MARKETER WANTS CONSUMERS TO KNOW ITS NAME

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Pfizer this week launches a $15 million corporate-identity ad campaign in an effort to increase consumer awareness of the pharmaceutical marketer.

The campaign is the first work for Pfizer from Gotham, New York, since the agency won the account from Bozell Worldwide, New York, last spring.

The ads feature a series of vignettes, with people jogging, bowling or pursuing other activities as a voice-over reminds consumers of the benefits of Pfizer products. The tagline: "Life is our life's work."

HELPFUL TO UNDERSTAND

Voice-over in one commercial says, "We make lives more memorable," and then the word "Alzheimer's" appears on screen. Another mentions, "We help people love one another," then shows "erectile dysfunction"-a reference to Pfizer's Viagra brand.

Other treatment categories listed are blood pressure, depression and animal health.

"We wanted to take that increasing awareness of Viagra and broaden it" to the other treatment categories the drug company is involved in, a Pfizer spokeswoman said. "People don't know what we do. Our research found that people think new medicines come from universities.

"When people are taking your medicine, it's helpful for them to understand a little bit about you."

The spots will run on network TV news and newsmagazine programs, and will be supported with print ads in January magazines.

"Companies spend a lot of time and money to brand their drugs," said Stone Roberts, Gotham chairman-CEO, yet many consumers can't name prescription drugs or their marketers, he noted-other than Viagra.

Pfizer launched an estimated $35 million campaign for Viagra from Cline, Davis & Mann, New York, in July.

The new corporate-identity campaign replaces a "We're part of the cure" campaign from Bozell that ended recently.

MODEST INCREASE

The campaign represents a modest increase from the $13 million spent on such ads in 1997, according to Competitive Media Reporting.

The $12 billion pharmaceutical marketer, which spent $90 million on total advertising last year, is the fourth-largest user of direct-to-consumer ads for Rx drugs.

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