Like the rest of America, you probably thought this day would never come. For 15 years NFL TV viewers have been subjected to awkward, embarrassing ads from brands like Viagra and Cialis that make it nearly impossible to sit down and enjoy a game with the kids or the in-laws. No more. As of this season, erectile dysfunction ads are out.
So what happened? Could it be that the years of fan outrage, even prompting fed-up, angry moms to create change.org petitions, finally resonated with the NFL? Could it be that the outpouring of complaints to government officials finally resulted in a successful political action that made it past the barrier of Big Pharma lobbyist dollars? Surely, we jest.
No, we’re afraid that the reasoning behind the disappearance of the ads was nothing quite so noble. It’s simple, really: the patents for the meds are expiring. This means that brands like Viagra and Cialis will now have to compete with countless generic versions of the drugs which will likely sell at much lower prices.
Due to the expiration of the patents, it no longer makes business sense for Big Pharma to spend more than $50M per season to buy NFL ad spots, just for erectile dysfunction. But did it ever truly make sense? For the last decade at least, was there really a male in America over the age of 12 who didn’t know that Viagra existed or what it was used for?
Interestingly, the NFL has lifted its self-imposed ban on liquor ads, so we can expect to see those this season. To be clear, it was previously inappropriate to advertise alcoholic beverages stronger than beer during football games, but totally acceptable to repeatedly push erectile dysfunction awareness.
Did you know that Big Pharma TV ads are not allowed in Europe? But in America, every preteen girl needs to know that one day, in her future, there may be a need for medication to come into play “when a woman turns romantic”. And all young American boys need the important information that an erection lasting longer than four hours should be cause for alarm. How did we ever function sexually as a society without this information? Thank you, Big Pharma!
Expect to see plenty of other Big Pharma ads pop up during this NFL season, they certainly are not just going to go away. What type of meds could be appropriate ads for an NFL broadcast? Well, how about pain meds or anti-inflammatory meds? Because anyone can sustain a football-related injury, even if they’re not actually playing the game.