Excellence in Healthcare/ Beauty Marketing Strategy 2022

With sales on a steep decline, ASPEN NEW ZEALAND knew it was time to change people’s perceptions of Viagra. Instead of going down the traditional route, Aspen chose a new approach to help the brand stabilise and grow.

Strengthening a solid brand

Changing the public perception of the well known Viagra brand was always going to be a big challenge, but now it was very neccesary with sales reaching an all-time low 

To overcome the problem of the Viagra brand becoming, for lack of a better word, soft, in the erectile dysfunction category, Aspen New Zealand launched an ambitious new campaign.

Over the past few years, Viagra sales have been gradually falling, with the brand recently witnessing a double-digit decline.

Looking at the market, there were many factors that contributed to the steady decline of Viagra, including the introduction of competitor, Vedafil. 

Vedafil came onto the scene at a friendlier price for the public and pharmaceuticals were beginning to favour this brand as Viagra failed to match the price point.

Along with the introduction of Vedafil, Viagra was already constantly fighting public perception of erectile dysfunction and the stigma attached to it.

In order to address the major concerns that were resulting in this decline, Aspen New Zealand decided to market this product in a completely different way to how any erectile dysfunction treatment has ever been marketed with a modern and fresh take. 

The ‘Front Up with Viagra’ campaign is a nationwide omnichannel DTC and B2B initiative that raised awareness about erectile dysfunctions, what causes it and how to treat it with Viagra. 

The campaign introduced a ‘Glen the Viagra Guy’ character that made it more approachable for consumers to understand the complex issue and encourage people to seek treatment and use Viagra as their preferred medication.

With the campaign, Aspen New Zealand decided to tap into the market that was the 75 percent of 300,000 Kiwi men who don’t seek treatment. The company targeted men who were in the early stages of their journey through this campaign and were less informed. 

Through the ‘Front Up with Viagra’ campaign, Aspen New Zealand aimed to remove the shame and embarrassment that came with erectile dysfunction’s and exposing the realness of the health condition.

Aspen New Zealand made it a priority to grow its digital presence. This was vital in light of Covid as more and more men were heading online to research and foot traffic to healthcare sites were plummeting. 

As a result, Viagra saw immediate success in the campaign as the brand was able to build trust, and change brand perception whilst also growing and stabilising the brand.

Following the launch of the campaign, Viagra saw its sales grow significantly and also stabilise. Within the past six months, Viagra is the only erectile dysfunction treatment to achieve market share growth. 

Viagra was able to deliver a strong dollar value in sales, and impressive return on investment. 

This modern take on marketing this iconic product has led Aspen New Zealand to build a new image for Viagra that ensures the future of the brand as the leading product in the industry.   

Excellence in Healthcare/Beauty Marketing Strategy

Aspen New Zealand

Marketing Initiative
Front Up with Viagra Campaign

Marketing Partners
Rockefeller; Tim & Megan Walls

Judges’ Comments
“Evidence of best practice marketing for growth. In a difficult environment they stood up as a category leader and showed leadership by achieving category growth and market share gains. Effectively changed strategy in a highly regulated category to include DTC with a clever campaign, with an awkward topic to remove the stigma. Kept on eye on the medical professionals with great stakeholder management and changing to adapt to new environment.”

Fertility Associates; Lumino The Dentists

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Excellence in Healthcare/Beauty Marketing Strategy

This category is open to entries from all healthcare, wellness, beauty and pharmaceutical providers, suppliers and resellers (e.g. gyms, haircare services and providers, pharmacy and natural health products, personal services, retirement homes etc.)


This article was originally published in the September/October 2022 issue of NZ MarketingClick here to subscribe.

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