Sunday, January 25, 2009

Schering to Bet $8 to $10 Million, in 2009: Buying Video Spots in Nascent Media Outlets

First -- understand the concept -- "Digital Out of Home outlets" are those mostly-little (but some big) flat screens -- popping up near the check-outs, in urban and suburban groceries, convenience stores, train-stations and health-clubs around the nation. Schering-Plough is making what is thought to be the single largest media buy in these outlets, to date. The full MediaWeek story is here, but it does seem in part spurred by the cost-ineffectiveness of Schering's Super Bowl ad, of 2008. [Gee -- I think maybe Schering ought to run the spot, at left.]

Said more plainly, it seems a way to try to reach more people, rather cheaply -- and nearer their own points of purchase. That may make some sense for suntan lotion, but "not so much" for traditional medicines. Here's a snippet -- from the story -- I found interesting:

. . . .Digital out-of-home is still one of those tempting, emerging media that is so new and so fragmented, it generally falls into the experimental column of the budget, (if the advertiser is lucky enough to have one of those these days). . . .

Over a period of eight to 12 weeks, Schering-Plough advertising for several sun care, footcare and upper respiratory brands will run on 17 digital networks in nine venue categories. To target consumers closer to the point of purchase, Schering-Plough chose networks that reach consumers in varied lifestyle locations from health clubs and physicians’ offices to malls, coffee houses, golf courses and airports. . . .

Moving at least some of its advertising and marketing closer to the point of purchase makes sense for Schering-Plough. While the overall sales for its consumer healthcare products rose 2 percent in third quarter 2008 on the launch of new constipation product MiraLAX, sales of its other over-the-counter products, such as Claritin, were low. After spending about 84 percent of its media budget on TV (per data from Nielsen Monitor-Plus through November ’08), and at least $2 million for one ad in a first-time Super Bowl spot in ’08, the company may have figured it was time to try a medium that was less costly and more targeted. . . .

Does it really make sense to spend $8 to $10 million advertising the lower-margin OTC health stuff, when Schering's drugs generate the lions' share of the profits?

I dunno. But I do know we'll not likely see many ads for Vytorin on TV.

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