The Surprisingly Effective New Marketing Strategy for Pharma

Updated on November 28, 2023

A leading pharmaceutical company recently conducted a 3-week campaign on a premium video platform. Their goal was to reach patients with a specific, rare medical condition. A leading healthcare analytics group assessed, the campaign’s performance and reported successful outcomes based on the brand’s key performance indicators (KPIs). These KPIs included increased specialist visits, higher diagnoses, category and brand conversions.

What might astonish you is that this campaign was run in cinemas. Traditionally, cinema advertising wasn’t a priority in the media mix for pharmaceutical companies. There was a belief that moviegoers sought entertainment, not health-related content. Moreover, cinema advertising was mainly associated with brand building rather than delivering lower-funnel performance metrics.

However, today’s landscape is different. Over the past two years, cinema advertising has evolved into a comprehensive marketing solution that offers measurability and attribution. It now provides both brand visibility and performance metrics.

With a resurgent box office, cinema ads reach millions of moviegoers each week, and roughly half of all American adults will visit the movies this year. Cinema has become an exceptionally effective environment for pharma and health and wellness companies seeking to connect with their prospects. It is also the ideal medium for reaching the cord-cutting demographic, which can often avoid or skip ads on streaming and digital platforms.

Here are five surprising facts about the effectiveness of cinema advertising for pharma brands:

  1. Research indicates that moviegoers are health-conscious consumers, with 81% actively monitoring their health and making an average of over five visits to a pharmacy each month.
  2. Most movie screens are located within a 10-mile radius of at least one hospital or major medical center, and 91% are within one mile of a drugstore. This proximity increases the likelihood that on-screen ads will drive real-life purchases.
  3. Close to 60% of cinema audiences are diverse – who pay attention and are receptive to pharma ads.
  4. Cinema uniquely connects with both older and younger diverse populations, allowing brands to reach prospects, diagnosed, primary caregivers and decision-makers for existing and potential patients who attend movies regularly.
  5. A recent study by a major diabetes drug manufacturer revealed that cinema advertising resulted in nearly twice as many diagnosed patients in the lower funnel compared to the general population. This statistically significant increase represents a valuable return on investment for pharma brands aiming to raise category awareness and drive conversions.

About Manu Singh

Manu Singh is NCM’s senior vice president of insights, analytics and data sales strategy. The veteran market researcher and data strategist oversees all facets of sales and brand research including, managing the exclusive “Behind the Screens,” NCM’s cinema fan-based community panel.  Singh developed and launched the company’s industry leading data intelligence platform, NCMx, an integral driver for new client engagement and increased client investment. 

About NCM

NCM, the largest cinema advertising platform in the U.S., has been leading innovation in the industry with the launch and development of NCMx, their proprietary data intelligence solution for advertisers.

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The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.