Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News
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Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News
Pharmaguy curates and provides insights into selected drug industry news and issues.
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Allergan See's Shire's Aniston and Raises Tomei to Promote Restasis

Allergan See's Shire's Aniston and Raises Tomei to Promote Restasis | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

Is there an Oscar for best dry eye awareness performance in pharma? Actress Marisa Tomei is speaking up about the disease as Allergan's spokesperson for its branded Restasis marketing, while Shire has tapped actress Jennifer Aniston to front its disease awareness TV campaign (read “Jennifer Aniston is Shilling for Shire!”; http://sco.lt/5G686T). Tomei signed on as an ambassador for Restasis in July, talking to news and TV media outlets about her own experience with the disease, and Aniston joined Shire's unbranded effort in August.

 

Tomei also teamed up with Guide Dogs for the Blind and will contribute $1 for every person who takes the Restasis dry eye quiz on its website through the end of the year. So far, more than 40,000 people have done so. Traffic to the Restasis website has also increased by 50% since the campaign began, Herm Cukier, senior vice president for U.S. eye care at Allergan, told FiercePharma.

 

Restasis is the market share leader in dry eye prescription treatments, launched first in 2003. But it recently got its first category competition with Shire’s launch of Xiidra. To promote the newer drug, Shire is running two ad campaigns, the unbranded dry eye disease awareness campaign featuring Aniston, and another branded Xiidra campaign that began in September.

 

While the two compete in the dry eye treatment market, they have different indications. Xiidra is approved for dry eye disease, while Restasis’ indication is for increasing tear production. A Bernstein analyst noted recently that while Shire has the full dry eye label advantage, Allergan “enjoys the power of incumbency,” including contracts, sales and an established patient pool.

Pharma Guy's insight:

I just added Tomei to my gallery of  “Celebrities Who Shill for #Pharma”; http://sco.lt/5mzajZ

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Xiidra DTC Ad Campaign Relies on Hokey Double ii’s – Get It?

Xiidra DTC Ad Campaign Relies on Hokey Double ii’s – Get It? | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

The first work for the dry eye disease treatment uses the "ii" in the drug’s name to create visual plays on words. The campaign subs the double i for single i in print, digital and social media ads--asking, "how's iit going?"--as well as in marketing materials for eyecare professionals.

 

The trend continues throughout the work; the professionals' intro kit, for example, reads, "Niice to meet you." There's a drug helpline called "ask iiris," as well as a copay card named the "Xiidra iinsider." And the campaign--created by Shire's agency of record, Digitas Health--also includes a video game app called Bliip, a Pong-like game available in the iTunes store.

 

“From the get-go we wanted to create a consumer brand that cut across both audiences, not just a brand for eyecare professionals and then another brand for consumers. We wanted to create a consumer brand with one voice that connects with those customers,” Victoria Noble, head of marketing for opthamalics at Shire, told FiercePharmaMarketing in an interview.

 

Collette Douaihy, senior vice president and group creative director at Digitas Health, said the opportunity to play off the double i in the name Xiidra makes for a fun, personal and memorable introduction to the brand.

 

“It’s the theme that keeps giving,” she said. “There are so many opportunities to message out and play with the double i’s and get to a very personal level with our target audiences.”

 

“We’re the challenger in this space, so in order for us to make those connections, we needed to break through and be different and engage. We weren’t going to do that by being typical pharma,” Noble said.

Pharma Guy's insight:

But don’t forget - Jennifer Aniston is Shilling for Shire! http://sco.lt/5G686T So will the ii’s or will Jennifer tip the scales in favor of Xiidra? I must admit that Aniston is better looking than that real “spooky” eye doctor used in Allergan’s ads, even though “Allergan's Persistent, Repetitive, Spooky & Annoying DTC Advertising Pays Off!”; http://sco.lt/5UsAGf

 

Also read “Are We at the Saturation Point Viz-a-Viz Celebrity Pharma Endorsements?”; http://sco.lt/5xPB5t

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