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Pfizer China Appoints Leo Burnett as Creative Agency for Viagra

This marks a milestone for Viagra as the brand has almost never done any creative campaigns to communicate the merits of their product in China, due to the strict marketing policies for prescription medicines.

Anybody who has ever heard the Jonathan Lee song “I feel quite annoyed recently”, will probably remember the lyrics “I can’t find the little blue pills”. These mysterious ‘blue pills’ once triggered curiosity and wild guesses in China, but in the end they turned out to be a reference to Viagra, a popular oral therapy for erectile dysfunction, created by Pfizer.

Pfizer China has now appointed Leo Burnett Shanghai as their strategic creative agency for Viagra. This marks a milestone for Viagra as the brand has almost never done any creative campaigns to communicate the merits of their product in China, due to the strict marketing policies for prescription medicines. However, through this new partnership, Pfizer hopes to increase brand awareness of Viagra in China and help more people enjoy healthier and happier sex in their lives and hopefully, unlike Mr Lee, never again feel annoyed.

viagra tablet

Thanks to its distinctive diamond shape and blue color, Viagra was whimsically known as both the “little blue pills” and “Wei Ge” (meaning strong big brother) largely from movies even before it entered into China. However, after a massive survey, Leo Burnett found some interesting facts: - “Wei Ge” is more recognized as a category than a specific brand; - Viagra users are aged from 18 to 65, which is a much wider range than most people had thought; - In China, Viagra can only be sold in hospitals and formal online/offline pharmacies, and not in sex shops as many people supposed; - The quality and quantity of sex are very relevant to a happy life. And turns out that this is not just a problem for males – more and more females are now speaking out about their sexual expectations.

Mr. Pedro Pan, the Senior Marketing Manager of Pfizer’s Men’s Health division explained that, “We found that many people in China were not enjoying satisfactory sex, because they didn’t realize they had a problem that could be solved. As a leading brand in the erectile dysfunction category, we wanted to help people understand that Viagra is a scientifically proven and reasonable way to bring improvements to their lives.”

Leo Burnett has had a steady partnership with Pfizer for more than 10 years in China, working on Over-the-Counter (OTC) brands such as Centrum, Caltrate, and Imedeen. Adding Viagra as the first prescription drug brand onto the list means that the partnership has stepped up to a new level.

Angie Wong, the Managing Director of Leo Burnett Shanghai said: “we are thrilled to extend our partnership with Pfizer to include such an iconic brand, and in such an interesting category. It is certainly an exciting opportunity to inspire some excellent creative work, and more importantly, to leverage Leo Burnett’s unique HumanKind creative philosophy. Based on insights abstracted from studying human behavior, I believe we will be able to deliver creative solutions to help the little blue pill Viagra have effective dialogues with consumers in China.”

September 20th 2017