Creative brief

The birth control industry is dominated by five major corporations, which include Allergan Plc, Bayer AG, Merck & Co., Teva Pharmaceutical, and Church & Dwight.  These five corporations currently hold 75% of the market share and all offer birth control devices and over the counter (OTC) contraceptives.  The contraceptive device market was estimated to be worth USD$10.5 billion in 2016 and is expected to reach USD$15.6 billion by 2023. 1 According to Euromonitor International, approximately 3 million women in the world experience an unplanned pregnancy and around 90% use some method of contraception.1 These unplanned pregnancies resulted in abortions, therefore creating unnecessary healthcare expenditure. As the goal of the contraceptive industry is to eliminate healthcare expenses associated with abortion, healthcare professionals are encouraging and educating women on the benefits of contraceptive use.

Company/Product Profile

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The manufacturer of Nexplaon is Merck & Co, they reported worldwide sales in 2016 to be USD$39.8 Billion, an increase of 1% from 2015 sales. In regards to Nexplanon, the sales were USD$606 million in 2016 and USD$588 million in 2015, which resulted in a 3% increase in sales. According to QuintilesIMS studies, the number of prescriptions for oral contraceptives dropped in Canada between 2011 and 2015, while oestrogen-free and IUDs have gained more popularity.2

Current Advertising

Bayer AG is the manufacturer of many forms of birth control. They are Nexplanon’s biggest competition as they are a supplier of the 3-year IUD device, not to be confused with the arm implant. They market the device as “The contraception that doesn’t get in the way”. Nexplanon has been able to be the sole producer of the arm implant, which has given them 100% market share. As other brands provide intrauterine devices, Merck and Co. has a patent on the arm implant making it impossible to replicate the product. In the last two years, they have improved Implanon, which, was the first generation arm implant and in 2015 they released Nexplanon.  Another competitor is Mirena, also produced by Bayer AG but marketed towards a different target market, moms. The slogan for Mirena is “The birth control for moms”.

Target Market Profile


The demographics of Nexplanon are women, married or in a relationship, aged 15-44. It is said that 99% of women between these ages who have ever had sexual intercourse have used at least one contraceptive method.3 It was reported in 2013, 71% of women had access to medical insurance which, would cover the full or majority of the cost accompanied with the implant.3 The majority of women without insurance said they utilize other methods such as male sterilization, condoms or emergency contraceptive.


Globally, it is recognized that the variety of contraceptive choice has lead to higher levels of contraceptive use. When women and couples have access to a wide range of family planning methods, they are more likely to find a method they like and can use over a period of time. Youth, in particular, must overcome significant barriers to access contraception that meets their needs and vulnerability to unprotected sex.4 Youth often feel embarrassed to ask health care providers for available options and have expressed they would like a long-term option.


For women who live far from health services or who are not able to visit health clinics easily, implants and intrauterine devices (IUDs), maybe a preferred and more convenient option. Nexplanon would provide these geographically challenged individuals with a three-year worry-free option.


In 2012, 492,000 married and in relationship women aged 15-44 were using the arm implant as their main form of contraceptive.3 They found that it was a convenient and reliable option. It was also said that many women used the implant between child barring and in teenage years because you didn’t have to remember a daily pill. The increasing occurrence of HIV infections in developing countries has led to The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), public and private funding agencies around the world to provide better and reliable methods of contraception, driving regional growth. Nexplanon provides a 99% effective option that lasts three years and is implanted into the arm by a minor incision, which is wanted in countries where women don’t have disposable access to medical staff.

1.     Quantitative Advertising Objective


·      To increase awareness about Nexplanon’s effectiveness (99% effective)

·      To increase the number of users from $492,000 to $600,000

·      To maintain sales growth of 3% annually

·      To build brand loyalty with millennials

2.     Positioning

The cost associated with Nexplanon is $1200 but varies depending on location, medical professional, and coverage. In Canada, almost all devices are covered by medical insurance. This also includes insertion of the device. Many medical professionals encourage the devices, as they are more affordable over time than compared to the pill. In the last five years, Merck and Co. has made vast improvements in the overall quality of the product. The size has decreased, which has made the incursion less invasive, and the product lasts 3-years. As Merck and Co. is the sole provider of the arm implant, they are able to charge a substantial amount and it is comparable to other methods over time.

3.     Creative objectives

According to Planned Parenthood, Birth control implants are “super effective”.5 Nexplanon gives long-term protection against pregnancy and is 99% effective. Planned Parenthood says “once your Nexplanon is in, you barely have to think about it-it works until it expires or you have it taken out”.  We want to stress the key benefit as the flexibility of the product and the convenience it can provide to all women but especially youth. As youth between 15-29 stressed that they wanted a discrete option, Nexplanon would provide just that. These individuals wouldn’t have to worry about others finding pills or having to find a pharmacy.

4.     Creative Strategy

We want to express a strong tone to come across as professional as this is a medical item and requires minor medical assistance. All of our advertising requires lengthy legal jargon but it is imperative that we express transparency and clarity in all forms of advertising. As we want to target youth, we want to make it simple and easy to understand the context of the information. We will want to bold the benefits but also explain the product in great detail. It is also vital that we provide a place for consumers to contact us and ask questions about the product and ensure it is right for them.

5.     Creative Execution

The best way to present this product is through product comparison. The industry is dominated by five major players and many advertise competing products on their own website. All players understand that their specific product might not be the best-fit option for the consumer. Some products last 3 years, others last 5 and they all offer different benefits. The online quiz will allow consumers to make an educated decision about the product that is best for them.

Product Considerations

It is mandatory that we supply consumers with correct and up to date statistics on the effectiveness of the product. This is often a deciding factor in choosing a contraceptive so the information must be correct. The ads all must include fine print legal jargon that includes risks, effectiveness and other potential complications. The logo and web address will have to be listed in the ad, as we want consumers to have access to extensive information that might not be able to be in the ad.