Pfizer launched new Lipitor consumer advertising featuring the inventor of the artificial heart.
In the 60-second “Rowing” TV spot, Dr. Robert Jarvik, shown rowing a kayak and sitting on a rocky shore, tells viewers that “more cardiologists surveyed said they'd prescribe Lipitor for their own families than any other cholesterol brand.” The spot counsels that Lipitor “is one of many treatment options to consider with your doctor.”
Pfizer's Alison Lehanski, head of US public affairs, said, “This is reflective of our commitment to include alternative treatment language in our advertising to help support a productive patient-healthcare provider dialogue.” Print ads feature Pfizer's breakthrough brief summary
The new work breaks at a critical time for the Lipitor brand and its competitors, with Merck's Zocor set to lose patent protection in June.
The work will run alongside an unbranded TV cholesterol awareness campaign, by Omnicom's Unit 7, which launched in December. It is the first for the brand by Publicis' Kaplan Thaler Group, which won the account in January. Lipitor consumer advertising was previously handled by Omnicom's Merkley + Partners.
Pfizer spent $93 million on mass media for the brand in 2005, according to TNS Media Intelligence, down from $102 million in 2004.
Merck and Schering-Plough spent $155 million last year to advertise their Zocor-Zetia combination, Vytorin.