The Super Bowl is the most expensive and high-stakes game for TV commercial advertising, and the pharma industry spared no expense to collect on some of the night’s most coveted airtime.

Pfizer ran its first-ever Super Bowl ad “Here’s to science,” which included a lineup of scientists who stood at the frontier of knowledge. Alongside the company’s founders Charles Pfizer and Charles F Erhart, the 60-second ad featured computer-generated images of pioneers such as Sir Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, Rosalind Franklin, and Marie Maynard Daly singing along to Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now.”

Super Bowl viewers were treated to the discovery of penicillin and the work done by Katalin Karikó and Drew Weismann in mRNA, which won them the 2023 Nobel Prize in Medicine and was used in developing Covid-19 vaccines such as Pfizer’s Comirnaty. The company then took the opportunity to highlight its “next fight” against cancer, where Pfizer has made significant strides. In December 2023, Pfizer completed its acquisition of Seagen, a leader in developing antibody-based therapies for cancer. Pfizer plans to create an oncology division dedicated to the oncology-related R&D and commercial activity of both Pfizer and Seagen.

Multiple news sources have reported that a 30-second ad for this year’s big game cost $7m on average.

In between amnesia-ridden Uber Eats shoppers and Ben Affleck’s Boston DunKings, Astellas provided women with the solution to menopause-related hot flashes with its “Fewer Hot Flashes, More Not Flashes” commercial.

Astellas made a bid to gain traction during the highly viewed event for Veozah (fezolinetant), a non-hormonal treatment launched last year. It is designed to block neurokinin 3 (NK3) receptor binding and modulate neural activity in the thermoregulatory centre of the brain. It is approved to treat moderate to severe vasomotor symptoms caused by menopause.

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By GlobalData

Through the ad, the company wanted to empower women to be more open about their experiences and consult with their healthcare providers to seek appropriate treatments for these symptoms, said Jill Jaroch, senior director of Women’s Health at Astellas in a 1 February press release. With around half the audience being women, the Super Bowl is an “incredible platform” to normalise the conversation around vasomotor symptoms and menopause, she added.

Given its status as the first neurokinin antagonist option for vasomotor symptoms, Veozah is expected to be a big-ticket drug. As per GlobalData, the drug is forecasted to bring in $1.9bn in sales in 2029.

GlobalData is the parent company of Pharmaceutical Technology.