Six Prescriptions for Healthier DTC Advertising


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In an exclusive to PharmaVOICE, Phil Sawyer, Senior VP, Starch Communications Group, a RoperASW company, discusses the creative elements of a DTC ad that attract and hold reader attention, as well as the elements that discourage readership.
The DTC playing field has changed. With far greater competition than ever before, DTC advertisers increasingly need to know how consumers read and understand the ad’s message. The DTC ads that have the greatest impact, according to a recent consumer survey, have: eye-catching illustrations, short headlines, easy-to-read copy, message simplicity, flow of creative elements, and product benefits.
For more than 75 years the Starch division of RoperASW has been conducting advertising readership studies on the country’s leading publications, including: Sports Illustrated, Time Magazine, People Weekly, Fortune, BusinessWeek, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Good Housekeeping, Forbes, Parade, Family Circle, Ladies Home Journal, and Better Homes & Gardens, to name a few.
The Starch database, one of the largest of its kind in the world, houses the ad readership results from these studies, including data results on thousands of direct-to-consumer advertisements.
“Using the knowledge about consumer trends from Roper Reports, we know that consumers are much more self-reliant than in past years and are much more interested in taking charge of their own lives, including their healthcare; are more than twice as likely to contact a doctor to discuss a DTC ad if they see and read about new information on medication or treatment; and are being exposed to an increasing amount of DTC advertising every year,” says Phil Sawyer, senior VP, Starch Communications Group…

Pharma DTC Ads vs. Other Categories

Expert on this Topic
Phil Sawyer
, Senior VP, Starch Communications Group, a RoperASW company