AZ rebranded effort: 'Rethink COPD'

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AstraZeneca is rolling out an unbranded COPD education campaign featuring comedian and actor Robert Klein.

The campaign, dubbed Rethink COPD, is aimed at getting sufferers to consider their options with respect to diet, exercise and, of course, medication.

“For a lot of these patients, it's really about getting through their day,” said senior brand communications manager Dana Settembrino. “It's a struggle to get out of bed in the morning, it's a struggle to brush their teeth and they want to be independent. It's all about getting them to talk to their doctor and start to think differently about this condition. There's not a lot known about it, and there's a stigma associated with it because most people have gotten it from smoking.”

Klein, a 67-year-old Bronx-born performer whose career has spanned Broadway roles and HBO comedy specials, features on the campaign's website (www.RethinkCOPD.com), where he'll discuss his diagnosis and the steps he's taken to keep his COPD in check.

The site is unbranded, but includes a “Learn about a treatment option” link to a branded Symbicort for COPD site (the drug is indicated for asthma and COPD). The campaign also features 15-second broadcast PSAs aimed at driving traffic to the website.

“This campaign is talking to those patients and saying there's this resource you need to know about,” said Settembrino, “and you can find out what positive lifestyle changes you could be making so you can get through your day.” The tagline of the aspirational campaign is “People with COPD are expecting more.” AstraZeneca worked with agencies Edelman, Cadient and Digitas Health on it.

Klein got his start in the late '60s with Chicago comedy troupe Second City. Recent roles have included appearances on Law and Order: Special Victims Unit and Life on Mars. In 2005, he penned a memoir of his Bronx youth titled The Amorous Busboy of Decatur Avenue.

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