I was watching TV yesterday and noticed a pharmaceutical commercial. I don’t remember what the commercial was advertising (just goes to show you how ineffective the commercial was), but I noticed something quite peculiar about the ad. In the lower left corner of the TV spot, it reads: See our ad in Health magazine.

Magazine?? First, let me just say I have nothing against magazines — I subscribe to and read several of them. But pointing your TV audience to a magazine to get more information about your drug is just wrong on so many levels:

  1. Does the drug company seriously expect me to remember which magazine their ad is located, get up from my couch, go to the nearest bookstore, find the magazine on the rack, flip through the entire magazine JUST to find the ad to get more information? Do they know how much work that is? More importantly, do they realize the amount of work required to find the information is inversely proportional to somebody actually locating that information?
  2. Just how much information can the print ad contain? What happens if, after seeing and reading the ads, people still have more questions that need answers? What next?

I have a better solution. Instead of pointing people to a magazine ad, point them to the drug’s website! Not only will there be more space to display the information that potential customer may be looking for, the pharmaceutical company can also get information and feedback from these potential customers via questionnaires or some other interactive vehicle on the site. And if the drug company is smart, it would also use web analytics to understand the who, what, why and tie them altogether in calculating the ROI or whatever metrics may be in use by the drug company. Last but not least, not only is this the easiest solution, it is also a practical one — surveys after surveys have shown people are increasingly watching TV while simultaneously surfing the web. The number for these “double-dippers” is shown to be as high as 62% of all adults.

What do you think? Have you ever gone out of your way to find a drug ad in a magazine after a TV ad prompting? Do leave your comments below.

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