I’ve written before about the vampire zeitgeist. Yesterday I saw Eclipse, the third installment in the Twilight series. Two weeks before that, the new season of True Blood began streaming back into my veins. So I’ll write about it again.

I’m not particularly interested in the near hysteria of pseudo-epic proportions that has legions of tweens, teens, MILFs and gay men swooning over the two big Twi-teams, Edward and Jacob, as well as the third to emerge, Team Emmett. Personally, I’m lobbying for Team Leah.

As an anthropologist, I have the ocular capacity to see the madness behind the motifs. As a father, I have the advantage of seeing through the eyes of a tween daughter and her MILF mom. And because the story makes so much sense for our time, I’m down with it. As such, I flat out dismiss the critical shortcomings of wanna-be snobs-cum-pundits who are unable to see beyond dialogue and pacing that is muddied by the swirling eddies of testosterone.

Which leads me to what I do want to write about – the vampire connection not to testosterone but to why inhibiting cGMP specific phosphodiesterase type 5 has become such a big business. I have no idea how big a business Viagra is. No pun intended or, for my IC colleagues, TW – it’s big. Very big. So is Cialis, Levitra or, for that matter, the entire suite of products (boner related or not) in the global pharmaceutical industry.


That many of us mere mortals thirst to live longer, stronger and harder is a given; that pharmaceutical companies can better understand our craving and their business by empathizing with and appreciating the vampire zeitgeist should be. So where is the alignment?

Well, for one, it’s in the risk-and-decision factor. Like Bella, some people – the people that people in business like to call ‘consumers’ – have made the decision to alter their bodies and beings. Temporary or permanent is beside the point, and it’s not a decision for everyone. I know a certain EVP who wouldn’t swallow a pill, any pill, if you coated it in black cod and kale.

But for those who will, pharma companies could learn a lot from the cognitive and cultural connections between the sexual prowess of the vampire and the Viagra consumer, the decisions over mortalities and medicines. Like other versions of human performance that today’s pharma products promise to enhance, it is a key to today’s consumer decision-making.

Given the other decision-making that’s going on in millions of heads right now – vampire, werewolf or neither – that connection should be guiding future marketing and branding efforts of the pharma giants. Those in the pharma C-suite who fail to see that connection are missing big opportunities still in the works.

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