NEW YORK—Declaring that he was worried about their progress and afraid that time was running out, frustrated Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla reportedly admitted Thursday that the company discovered a coronavirus vaccine months ago but still can’t agree on an ad campaign. “The vaccine was pretty simple, actually, and it’s all set to go, but the more research we do, the more it seems like an exciting, profitable marketing effort is beyond our reach,” said Bourla, adding that advertising slogans for the vaccine, which protects against Covid-19 in all cases, were having almost no effect on focus groups, and that Pfizer was still potentially months away from finding a mascot. “Coronavirus is incredibly devastating, which is why we have a once-in-a-lifetime chance to get all the ad copy and promotional materials right. We want our vaccine campaign to strike the right tone—serious, but not too serious, maybe something like Bud Light did with ‘dilly dilly,’ some kind of catchphrase that everyone across the country will quickly remember. We know how badly people want a coronavirus vaccine, which is why we need to pull out all the stops to make it as memorable and entertaining for consumers as possible. It’s just unfortunate when an advertising campaign isn’t as easy as finding the cure.” Bourla added that Pfizer’s main worry was unveiling their coronavirus vaccine ad campaign before Johnson & Johnson or GlaxoSmithKline debuted their marketing.
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