Treato just released their annual survey on consumers' opinions of DTC advertisements, and the news from this particular study is not encouraging. According to this survey of 500 patients, intent to ask a doctor about a drug after seeing an advertisement about it on TV plunged by over 70%, from 21% in 2015 to only 7% this year. This decline is even more troubling as the study noted that DTC spending has actually risen in the last year by 26%. There are additional findings around the impact of celebrity endorsements and use of animations for pharmaceutical advertising, showing that the majority of viewers are not incrementally motivated by either of these approaches.
So does this presage the death of DTC advertising? Hardly. Certainly some of this may be consumer bias given all of the news around drug pricing over the last year. But it also may be indicating that DTC can and should be executed more personally (think addressable TV, etc.). Is it time to start thinking differently about how to execute DTC campaigns? We would say, absolutely!
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