DDR on DTC: Osphena

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Deborah Dick-Rath
Deborah Dick-Rath

“The Pill” liberated women in the 1960s and set off a longstanding, modern relationship between females and the pharmaceutical industry. Now, we've come full circle with Shionogi Pharmaceuticals' Osphena, an oral pill for a condition called “vaginal aging.”

SEX! (Did that get your attention?) Shionogi sure hopes it will. It's using the word, in extra-large type, to attract women to Osphena via a beautiful two-page spread ad that recently ran in People and selected women's magazines. In addition to the attention-getting language, it features a gorgeous older woman looking blissfully at the camera. The ad is glamorous and attractive, and the spread unit really pops. Single-page ads also feature mature but sexy ladies. The look and feel of this campaign fits nicely within the beauty/image environment of women's magazines.

Osphena online and web echo the print campaign. The website educates women about the condition while offering ways to engage with other women and hear testimonials. It uses a clean, almost clinical tone, which underscores an informational vs. “exploitational” view of the subject. The usual registration and savings downloads are also deployed.

The DTC ad, designed to create awareness of the brand and the condition, is supposed to persuade women “of a certain age” to speak with their doctor about how to improve their sexual experience. Here's another pill and a nod to pharma that says, “We've come a long way, baby!”


Deborah Dick-Rath is the president of Epic Proportions, a healthcare communications consultancy. She can be reached at deborahdrath@optonline.net

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