DDR on DTC: Androgel

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Slovay Pharmaceuticals, based in Marietta, GA, has given us a DTC campaign that's as classic as southern fried chicken, Masters Golf or Georgia's own Scarlet O'Hara. It uses the tried-and-true format of combining unbranded, or “disease-state,” advertising to create awareness of the condition with separate, branded ads for the therapy to treat it.

The condition we are talking about is LowT (as in low testosterone), which affects 13.8 million men over 45. Although it's biologically and epidemiologically different, LowT has some of the same symptoms as its cousin, ED. (And we all know all about the blockbusters with Goliath ad campaigns that are available to treat that condition.)

Slovay has deployed a multi-channel disease-state campaign that cleverly sets up the condition with the platform, IsItLowT.com. The 30-second spot shows us a real guy who misses his old self – his shadow – having fun golfing and disco dancing. The call-to-action is to go online to learn more, accompanied by unbranded ads that call-out symptoms or offer a quick LowT quiz. The single-pages and 30-second spots are efficient ad units, which we don't always see in DTC.

This campaign works because it leverages a bit of mystery and intrigue while keeping the tonality light and easy for anxious patients. It's not heavy-handed or threatening. There is no gloom. All of the materials, including the PI and website, are written with clear, user-friendly language.

Of course, Slovay has also launched a branded campaign for its Androgel brand – a testosterone gel that effectively treats symptoms of LowT. You need a prescription for it – and you need to be careful not to apply it to areas where “vigorous skin-to-skin contact is made.” But that's OK. If Androgel can get rid of grumpy old men, we'll all be dancing under the disco ball.

Deborah Dick-Rath is SVP, healthcare practice leader, at FactorTG.. She can be contacted at

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