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Steve Cone makes the case in his new book "Powerlines
" that a great slogan is the most important part of any marketing campaign and shows by means of many examples and some instruction how to create one. He says "Powerlines are promises that deliver and never change. They are the voice of the brand."
Well that’s sure true. While illustrating his point, Steve tells one of the best stories I've ever heard about pharma advertising.
The "powerline" story goes as follows in Steve's book:
As baby boomers become older they have created a huge new market for drugs to guarantee sexual performance. Those crazy baby boomers, they want everything! Pfizer
was the first pharma company to go for it and they launched Viagra
Viagra was an instant hit. Nothing could bring Viagra
down. It captured 75% of the market and held onto it for years, generating billions in annual sales. Competitors were no match. The folks over at Lilly
Pharmaceuticals, the makers of Cialis
were perplexed. They advertised and advertised and they couldn't move the needle. Why was this so impossible? They could not figure it out.
Then something happened. A great mind, the cleverest copy writer of them all took notice amongst all the legalese that the FDA
required the printing of the disclaimer "To avoid long term injury, ff an erection lasts more than four hours, you must seek immediate medical attention". “avoid long term injury”!!! Boomers took the bate! Erectile function that is so powerful that it could last for four hours and cause long term personal injury is any super boomer’s dream. They truly can have everything.Cialis
quickly changed their ads and made this line as prominent as the headline or tagline. On TV they actually voiced over the line and displayed it on the lower third.
Within three months time Cialis
gained over 30% of the market and leveled the playing field with Viagra
to the point where they have almost equal share of the market.
This has now been a prominent part of Cialis
’ advertising for several years. Another point Steve makes in his book is that to often we give up our powerlines for no reason. We used to hold on to them for at least five years. In the last ten years headlines, taglines and “powerlines
” have a far shorter life span. With the tenure of CEOs and CMOs shortening every year these lines tend to change on the whim of new administrations within the company stripping away the brand of a recognizable part of its personality.
The moral of the story is that ONE LINE made the difference. Now that' awesome. Cialis
, don’t let it go. This is a good one. A true “powerline”. I want to hear the disclaimer that could at the end of your ads for years to come. That way I’ll always know who you are.
for showing us how it's done. “If this powerline lasts more than five years, seek the help of a marketing professional immediately”