This paper will look at the promotional and pricing strategies employed GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Plc in the marketing Advair. Focusing on the promotional efforts of the company, this report will identify the general strategy utilized by GSK. Next, the more specific efforts will be examined including the choice of media, content, and the message which is being conveyed. This paper will also look at the life cycle stage of Advair and how GSK prices according to this factor. Lastly, the appropriateness of the promotional and pricing strategies to the marketing mix will be examined.
GlaxoSmithKline Plc is engaged in the "creation, discovery, development, manufacture, and marketing of pharmaceutical and consumer health related products worldwide" (GlaxoSmithKline Plc Profile 2007). In furthering its quest in becoming an innovator and pioneer in the world's pharmaceutical industry, GSK launched Advair, a combination of Serevent and Flitoxide which offers a long acting bronchodilator and an anti-inflammatory in a single inhaler (GlaxoSmithKline Annual Report 2005) in 2001. With the company's aggressive and intensive promotion effort, Advair is currently recognized brand in the treatment of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Among the products in the portfolio of GSK, Advair generates the highest revenue and total profit. During 2005, Advair is GSK's bestseller, posting annual double-digit growth. In order to support this growth, GSK also allocates chunk of its budget in Advair promotional strategy. Being a relatively new market product in the market, Advair is launched and introduced through the use of different media like print ads, televisions, direct mail, internet, telemarketing, radio, and point of purchase. During the first 11 months of 2006, AC-Nielsen reports that GSK spent $120.5 million for Advair. This represents 16% of GSK's total promotional expenditures (Lopatto 2006).
The promotional strategy of GSK has gone a long way in introducing and enhancing the position of Advair in the global pharmaceutical industry. In 2005, Advair is ranked 7th in terms of global turnover. There has also been an increased used of the product since it was launched in the COPD market in January 2004 (Timmons 2005). Both in Europe and United States, Advair is becoming a number one alternative for the treatment of COPD. Thus, GSK is intensifying its effort in marketing Advair as a treatment for this disease. During May 14, 2005 the product is also approved for the treatment of asthma in children ages 4-11 (GlaxoSmithKline 2006).
Advair capitalizes on the strength of GSK in the treatment of asthma and COPD. The promotional strategies of Advair, thus, centers on this core competence. As mentioned above, GSK's effort in the promotion of Advair has been both extensive and intensive, making use of almost all available channels. Advair is generally promoted as an essential component of COPD treatment and the most effective and convenient choice in asthma treatment. In order to simplify the analysis of the message and content of the advertisemen