BPH is one of those conditions that affects a large population and has physical symptomology that makes sufferers very uncomfortable. These facts make it a great condition for DTC. Unfortunately, since it is DTC, the rest of us sometimes have to suffer too—with advertising that puts us in the discomfort zone. In this case, Watson's RAPAFLO is the culprit.
This advertising is smart because it speaks directly to its target of men over 50 about the problem that RAPAFLO can solve (frequent urination). I just wish they weren't so literal about visualizing the symptoms. The ad is bold and strong, which probably appeals to the target, and it leverages a macho personality complete with a muscle car stopped along the roadside (probably Route 66). Too bad the imagery is surprisingly close to that of a concurrent ED campaign — which may confuse some guys. And the fact that the headline on the print ad tells RAPAFLO's target to “Avoid the Stop and Go of BPH” while the logo tagline on the brand website announces “Ready. Set. Go.” may only confuse them further.
Otherwise, the RAPAFLO website is very useful — full of scientific information regarding symptoms, treatments and promotional trial offers. It's also very reassuring for sufferers who are anxious about their condition. Although the combination of a strong web presence and a bold DTC campaign should be successful, the problem the brand still needs to solve is how to get our attention without also making us want to look away.

Deborah Dick-Rath is SVP at Symphony Advanced Media. Contact: ddrath@symphonyam.com
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