An SNL Director Made an Actual, Real Ad for an Erection Pill

If your laughing lasts longer than four hours, call a doctor

December 7, 2017 9:00 am

For nearly 20 years, erectile dysfunction ads have been among the least self-aware in the business, a hodgepodge of heavy-handed metaphors, batty-lashed women and absurd idyllic backdrops (looking at you, his-and-her outdoor bathtubs).

But with Viagra’s patent set to expire, pharma companies are pulling the plug on their TV ads.

Enter Roman — one of many startups hoping to turn said patent expiry into millions — and the brilliant piece of mic-drop satire you see above.

Shot by director Mike Bernstein (an SNL alum from the 2015-16 season who put together the Hillary Campaign and Voters For Trump ads), the spot contains a lot of real information about Roman, a pharma company that offers Viagra, Cialis, Levitra and more. But it’s main purpose is to lampoon all the silly marketing clichés that erectile dysfunction spawned.

“As a comedy director, people typically ask you to make content that’s ‘shareable’ or ‘viral,’” Bernstein tells us. “A lot of whether you’re successful at that is left to sheer luck, but in my experience, the reality is people only tend to pass on stuff that genuinely catches them off guard, and that’s especially true when it‘s an ad. It rarely happens. I feel like I got away with something.”

Don’t worry, the video won’t cause muscle aches or pains, a bloody nose, diarrhea, difficult or labored breathing, flushing, headache, trouble sleeping or sneezing. It’ll just make you laugh.

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