A Turn On

Public acceptance of erectile dysfunction drugs like Viagra and Cialis is growing, largely thanks to the pharmaceutical industry's great understanding of the importance of marketing. Although archrival Viagra benefited from penetrating the market first, Cialis is rising up with a product it claims is better, longer.

Superior functional benefit does not always make a brand better. Functional benefit can be copied or imitated, and once the competition has caught up, the brand is left without any differentiation factor. A visit to Cialis.com shows that, in this case, the brand relies heavily on its functional advantage but also gives a fair share to the emotional benefit. It seems that Cialis not only works for 36 hours, but it will bring a smile to your relationship.

The homepage opens on a screen-wide picture of a mature couple. No supermodels, no curves, just a bunch of middle-class folks. Parent company Lilly ICOS has chosen to organize its Cialis online brochure with a navbar on the top and four large buttons at the bottom. Thirty-six hours is clearly the differentiation point that Cialis is hammering home; it appears several times on the front page alone.

Erectile dysfunction is not generally dinner table conversation. Sex discussions tend to focus on successful exploits, not the awkward foibles of the human body. Cialis devotes an entire informational chapter on the website to answering questions that not many would dare ask. "About ED" covers everything from "What is ED?" to "ED Assessment Quiz" and "Spyware Prevention."

Why are ED and spyware prevention cavorting in the same section? While Cialis doesn't protect against computer virus (or any form of venereal disease virus, since we're on the subject), some pharmaceutical companies such as Lilly ICOS suffer from counterfeiting, illegal sales and spyware introduced under their name. In Cialis' case, the site warns "Lilly ICOS is not affiliated with any of these email messages" and provides tips for getting less spam and fighting spyware. This should give you something to do while you're waiting for the Cialis to take effect.

As for the site, Cialis balances the news you need to know with the news you want to hear. It's not exactly a hot night with a twenty year old, but it feels secure and dependable, which is precisely what the drug's audience for this drug will be looking for.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.