Pfizer has been using DTC to drive awareness for its estradiol vaginal ring product, Estring. Ordinarily, we’d call this a brave move for a conservative company—but then we remember that Pfizer got a little help from a little blue pill called Viagra. In fact, Estring, which treats post-menopausal symptoms of vaginal atrophy, is aimed at the same aging boomer target—only for the other gender.

Pfizer has run this print campaign in “older” skewing magazines like Reader’s Digest and sunday supplements. Their online presence is minimal—an educational landing page with ­basic navigation to learn more about the condition and the product.


The one-page print ads suffer (as most DTC ads do these days) with an overabundance of Fair Balance—half of the page. The emotional message at the top of the page utilizes an eyebrow headline: “If you can talk about it, you can treat it,” encouraging words for women in this category. That statement underscores the visual of a woman in a chair with body copy that says, “Just when you’re at an age when you should be able to sit back and relax.”

These half-page DTC ads force creative teams to jam in too much required information. Estring’s key benefit­—convenience—is mentioned three times but is hardly noticed because of all of the other clutter. Sadly, we also never get back to the emotional insight either—and that’s a miss that never happened for Viagra.

Deborah Dick-Rath is the president of Epic Proportions, a healthcare communications consultancy. She can be reached at [email protected]