Viagra 15th Anniversary: 4 Types Of Sexual Dysfunction Commercials

On March 27, 1998, The Food and Drug Administration approved the use of Viagra in the United States. The "little blue pill" was originally tested in hopes of helping heart problems, but is now synonymous with sexual dysfunction. As CNN reported, there were about $2 billion in sales of Viagra thanks to the 8 million prescriptions written for the drug in 2012. According to IMS Health, Viagra makes up 45% of the sexual dysfunction market share.

Since Viagra became approved, other erectile dysfunction pills have joined the fray like Cialis and Levitra. Even with the big sales, advertising has become a key component of the sexual dysfunction brand.

We have all seen the commercials watching TV, and they all get some sort of reaction, but when it comes down to it, there are only four types of sexual dysfunction commercials. In honor of Viagra turning 15, here are the four types of commercials for an erectile dysfunction (or in some cases, male enhancement) pill:

1. The "You're a Manly Man Even If You Have Erectile Dysfunction" Commercial


This is the standard for sexual dysfunction commercials. The advertisers here decided that not being able to get an erection made you not a man, so might as well make the men in this commercial cowboys and astronauts who no longer suffer from erectile dysfunction thanks to Viagra.

2. The "Let's Try to Make This Funny But End Up Being Creepy Instead" Commercial


This smiling Bob dude is creepy. That's all there is to it. Moving on.

3. The "Wow, That is Actually a Funny Viagra" Commercial


I can be won over with any bleep out of swear words, and this one certainly does the trick. (I do not remember seeing one like this on TV, but it was at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival in 2005). 

3. "The If You Have An Erection For More Than Four Hours, Contact a Doctor Immediately" Commercial


The list of side effects for drugs are always a little frightening, but the 4-hour erection doesn't sound ideal. I was in middle school the first time I saw a Cialis commercial that told you to seek immediate medical attention if you had an erection for more than four hours, and it was one of the funniest things ever.   

4. Bonus - The SNL Spoof 

 

There have been plenty others, and there will be plenty more, but this is a classic Christopher Walken and "what does Viagra mean for women" look at things.

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Liam Boylan-Pett

Liam is a culture writing intern at PolicyMic. His work has appeared in "Running Times" and other running publications. He is also a professional middle-distance runner for the New Jersey-New York Track Club. After graduating from Columbia University with his bachelor's degree, he earned a Master's of Professional Studies in Journalism from Georgetown University. Originally from Bath, Mich, he spends his time watching TV, reading longform journalism, and thinking about who is going to be in the NCAA basketball tournament's Final Four.

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