Viagra tackles stigma with modern-day love story

Campaign aims to start new conversation about erectile problems.


Viagra Connect aims to break taboos around erectile issues with a love story exploring modern masculinity and intimacy. 

The campaign, by VMLY&R London, launches today (Tuesday) and marks a change in tone for the brand, which previously connected erectile problems to control and performance. The latest work takes a more emotional perspective, portraying the struggle as a common health issue that can be caused by the stresses of modern life. 

A two-minute animated film follows one couple as they grow increasingly distant and struggle to maintain their sex life while juggling work demands and the distractions of technology. In the end, they put aside their phones, job pressures and anxiety to connect.

"Don’t let life get in the way of your love story," the ad says. 

The spot mixes 2D and 3D animation and is set to an emotive cover of The Proclaimers' I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles), with sound design by Factory's Antony Moore. It will run across TV, video-on-demand, digital and social media. 

It was created by Tamryn Kerr and directed by Paulo Garcia through Blinkink, with animation by Zombie Studio. Wavemaker is the media agency. 

Viagra Connect said it wants to erase stigma and start an open conversation about erectile issues. While erectile dysfunction has historically been associated with a lack of masculinity, the campaign shows how factors including stress, work and poor eating habits can trigger the issue and cause barriers in relationships. 

An estimated 4.3 million British men reportedly suffer from erection problems, according to a Kantar TNS Omnibus survey. Meanwhile, 26% of people are unable to be intimate due to them or their partner not being able to get or maintain an erection, but less than half of the men questioned (46%) said they spoke to their partner about it.

Kerr said: "Much beyond a little blue pill, this campaign is a complex message about modern masculinity and intimacy in relationships. I hope it will be seen alongside some of the most powerful recent advertising that has challenged and changed societal norms for the better."

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