health matters | stuck in neutral
Posted by Sheila Shayon on September 14, 2010 12:45 PM
You've probably seen those Cialis commercials featuring loving couples, romantic settings, 4-hour erection warnings and his-and-hers bathtubs.
Or maybe you've seen the amusing spot for Trojan's Fire and Ice condoms, featuring a couple's chat with a very informed cashier at an all-night pharmacy.
And then there’s the venerable Viagra, whose commercials may run the gamut but certainly defined the category and made life easier for brands aiding sexual dysfunction.
Make that brands aiding male sexual issues. Ads for Zestra, a product that enhances sexual arousal for women, have been hitting a glass ceiling in the US. According to today's New York Times, ads such as the one above for Zestra are "meeting resistance from TV networks, national cable stations, radio stations, and even Web sites like Facebook and WebMD."Continue reading...
Posted by Barry Silverstein on September 14, 2010 11:00 AM
Brand marketers know the power of a strong brand name. That's why they often don't hesitate to extend the brand by applying that name to a line of related products.
In the pharmaceutical industry, it's common for a well-known brand name to be extended into other similar branded products. Tylenol, for instance, is now available in a growing variety of products, including regular strength, extra strength, Tylenol 8 Hour, Tylenol Arthritis, Tylenol Sinus Congestion, Tylenol Cold Multi-Symptom, Tylenol PM, and Children's Tylenol.
But extending a drug brand to a non-drug item is unusual and might even be risky if the association isn't clear in the consumer's mind. So it will be interesting to gauge consumer reaction to a new line of "allergen barrier fabric products" being launched by London Luxury in an exclusive licensing agreement with Merck Consumer Care, makers of Claritin, the leading non-drowsy, over-the-counter allergy brand in the US.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on August 31, 2010 06:30 PM
* The rumor mill is running rampant ahead of Apple's music-themed press event tomorrow. Bloomberg's take: it will unveil a new set-top box that will deliver video (including from Netflix) to the TV. Amazon, meanwhile, is said to be working on a subscription-based streaming video service to deliver TV and movie programming, sources tell the Wall Street Journal.
* AOL's global brand marketing head decamps to Yahoo.
* Chrysler sets Fiat sales strategy in the US.
* Conde Nast is reviving the Gourmet brand for special newsstand-only issues.
* Danone is reportedly eyeing Dean Foods.
* Digg's Kevin Rose announces that former Amazon exec Matt Williams is taking over as CEO.
* Genzyme CEO is open to selling the company at a "fair value."
* Hugo Boss is taking a page from H&M and Zara; also expanding in China.
* Macy's is partnering with golfer Greg Norman for an exclusive collection.
* Yahoo and Google are expanding video offerings in Japan.
* Swiss study indicates that some diesels may be greener than electric cars.
social media watch
Posted by Shirley Brady on August 30, 2010 10:00 AM
* Foursquare passes 3 million users, lights up Times Square.
* The top 10 Twitter trends last week.
* "Silly" Facebook app propels Stride Gum.
* Lawsuit aims to block teens from "liking" ads on Facebook.
* Older adults nearly double social media presence.
* Cheezburger Network CEO Ben Huh makes a bid for Reddit after Conde Nast flap.
* Google continues social buying spree with Angstro.
* MySpace fights for relevance and mindshare.Continue reading...
Posted by Barry Silverstein on July 27, 2010 04:00 PM
The activity of brands in China lately is something akin to the California Gold Rush of the 1840s and 1850s. It seems like every major brand is scrambling to get a piece of the world's most robust economy.
China's consumer population is a tantalizing market for virtually every industry. China is already challenging America's Silicon Valley for technology supremacy. Fashion and luxury brands are flocking to the country, revving up operations and opening new stores.
In just the past few weeks, we've reported on Apple, Burberry, GM, Hermes, and Pabst beer making new inroads into mainland China.
Add drug companies to that list. Merck is forming a joint venture to market its vaccines in China.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 11, 2010 12:55 PM
Did you know there is a Center for Digital Democracy? And that yesterday the CDD asked the Food and Drug Administration to enforce its rules regarding drug marketing, especially in the social media arena?
The CDD's argument: if a pharmaceutical company cannot sufficiently represent the dangers and risks of a particular drug in 140 characters or less (which is impossible), they shouldn’t be able to tweet about it.
"Current FDA guidance on the presentation of risk information should not be compromised to the detriment of public health in favor of accommodating recent developments in online product promotion," the CDD wrote in its letter to the FDA.
Big Pharma was quick to respond that FDA regulations currently make no distinction between print and digital content. "That's akin to using standards created for horse and buggies to regulate automobiles," commented Jeffrey Francer, assistant general counsel for the US drug industry lobby group, PhRMA.Continue reading...
Posted by Laura Fitch on April 8, 2010 03:02 PM
A recent deal to market cactus-based products nationwide in China is the latest example of the nascent, yet fast-growing boom in health care products across the country.
Cactus grower and product developer China Kangtai Cactus Biotech recently inked an agreement with Yongkangmen Health and Drug Chain Store Group to market their patented cactus nutraceuticals, health food, and energy drinks in more than 3,000 drugstores throughout China. China Kangtai is cashing in on a trend that only has room to, ahem, grow.
Many Chinese people have health care on their minds due to concerns over exponentially rising costs; those concerns have been further exacerbated by a spate of food safety scandals. Also, an emphasis on traditional medicines that are largely herbal and preventative have the Chinese populous very aware of the long-term health benefits of organic properties found in plants such as the cactus. And now, with rising incomes in urban areas, many can afford products that promise a safe, natural boost to the body’s functioning.
Posted by Abe Sauer on March 17, 2010 07:53 AM
From lead-tainted toys and poisoned milk products to deadly dog food, the reputation of quality control standards for the "Made in China" brand has taken a severe beating.
Now, one brand is exploiting the brand's sullied image by making the panic over "China-made" into the pillar of its brand-building strategy; but is it too much?
Opurity vitamin ads are turning up on various blogs across the web. The first I saw was on a right-wing political blog. It probably would not have stood out except that the ad featuring a horrifying image of a factory spewing thick pollution into the sky with the eye-popping copy "Don't trust your health to China... Warning: Multivitamin companies entrust your health to vitamin ingredients made in China. Do you?..."Continue reading...