It’s time for some fun on a Thursday, folks. One of my readers, who I am choosing not to identify, pointed me to an article on Newsweek.com about the rising issue of low testosterone among men. It seems that as many as 13 million middle-aged men in the United States suffer from this issue. For some, the answer is increasingly a prescription for a steroid such as AndroGel, but new and old studies show that simply having an erection—including by watching porn—is enough to get low testosterone levels up to snuff. And so this, dear readers, is the question of the day: Should AndroGel be offering free porn on its website?
Today, Solvay Pharmaceuticals, the maker of AndroGel, is pursuing the classic strategy of driving awareness of a condition it calls “Low T” through TV advertising and a website. The company hopes that the condition is recognized by men as much as “ED” or “BPH“. If you’re male, watch sports, and haven’t seen the ads yet, you soon will.
Driving awareness of a real health issue that guys don’t talk about, and using the safety of a private website to answer questions, can be very meaningful. But I wonder if there is an opportunity for AndroGel to do more than simply motivate men to, once again, ask their doctor if a new drug is right for them. The website for AndroGel only mentions various prescription answers to low testosterone, thus missing the chance to educate men on other potential (ahem, natural) remedies.
Why not follow the path of Tylenol’s “Feel Better” campaign, which has used print and outdoor ads to educate consumers about how they can avoid headaches by eating breakfast or drinking plenty of water, and soothe muscle aches by getting a partner to massage their shoulders?
There is certainly no undersupply of adult content on the Web that men can use to raise their testosterone levels without medication. After all, Newsweek reports that:
Forty million people, most of whom are men and a large chunk of them married, visit a porn site each month. A quarter of all Internet search engine requests and 35 percent of all downloads are for porn.”
But AndroGel could do more to bring a full solution to Low T men and attract attention around the issue it solves. At minimum, the brand could provide information about how there are natural ways to increase testosterone levels. This would increase trust among patients and prescribing doctors alike that Solvay is not simply pushing pills. Thinking more creatively, AndroGel might provide tips on how men can safely enjoy adult material without encountering problems on office computers or being surprised by family members. It might seem silly, but check out (NSFW) this guy whose porn screensaver kicked in during a meeting. This might cause some “attention” in the media, but isn’t that what marketers aim for? And if the marketing is a meaningful solution to this issue, the brand is standing on firm ground.
Now, all giggles aside, I don’t seriously believe AndroGel should or will actively encourage porn viewership, but there are little things it can do to better deliver on its mission, no matter how stiff the marketing challenge.