Few, if any, medications have been marketed more heavily than those that combat erectile dysfunction (ED). Big-name celebrities, satisfied-looking women, and smiling men all are staples of commercial for medications such as Levitra.
Since the late 1990s, millions of men have been treated and billions of dollars spent on these medications, so standing out from the competition can result in a dramatic improvement for a drug company’s profit and loss statements.
In the final analysis, all three of the most popular ED medications do approximately thing – they relax muscles to increase blood flow into the penis, making erections possible where they were not before. Although Levitra is not exactly the same as Viagra or Cialis, the other two major players in drug-based ED treatment, what it offers is not unique.
While Viagra claims to “keep the spark alive” and Cialis wants to be the drug of choice “when the time is right,” Levitra touts “the quality of the experience.” What that means is that Viagra was the first on the scene and that Cialis has the distinction of being effective for as long as 36 hours, so Levitra had to find a niche for itself.
Almost everyone has seen the commercials narrated by a woman, dubbed “Queen Levitra” by the Wall Street Journal, telling us that “my man notices a difference in the quality of the experience.” In essence, she is saying that Levitra works better than Viagra. The drug’s website pushes the same concept of erectile quality (or EQ as they call it).
In fact, Queen Levitra may have been going too far. Recently the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has cautioned Levitra about its claims, asking that the commercials be replaced because they do not sufficiently explain the possible side effects of taking the medication. Although FDA advertising regulations about benefits versus side effects have been watered down in recent years, the agency still requires that drug commercials that go into details about what a medication can do also have to state the major drawbacks uncovered during the drug’s pre-approval clinical trials.
In addition to Queen Levitra, the drug’s makers have called on celebrities such as Mike Ditka to tout the medication. During Super Bowl XXXVIII in 2004, Ditka announced the “Levitra Challenge,” where men who receive Levitra prescriptions could get up to three free Levitra tablets. Using traditional sports jargon, Ditka urged men to “get back into the game” and to “decide what best fits your game plan.”
Aside from football, Levitra also has invested in professional golf. In 2003, a deal was signed with the ABC Sports for title sponsorship of the Levitra’s Skins Game, a made-for-television golf tournament featuring four of the top professional golfers in the world, a move the drug’s manufacturers claimed was “the ideal complement to our NFL sponsorship.”Coincidentally, in addition to golfers Fred Couples, Phil Mickelson, and Mark O’Meara, the 2003 Levitra Skins Game featured Annika Sörenstam, the first woman in nearly 60 years to play in a PGA tour event.