DDR on DTC: Belviq

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Deborah Dick-Rath
Deborah Dick-Rath

It's that time of year—post-holidays and pre-swimsuit—when chronic dieters suspend belief and try to lose unwanted poundage. The belief is that they can painlessly lose weight through pre-packaged meals, support groups and gym signups. The Resolution era descends, but that's just a starting point for the marketing team for Belviq at Eisai. Belviq is one of the newly approved “anti-obesity” drugs (along with Qsymia from Vivus) entering the marketplace via DTC. And they have to use a different road, and motivate in a different way.

Belviq has launched a DTC campaign that positions weight-loss as being about health—not the “I can fit in my skinny jeans!” kind, but the “helps reduce high blood pressure, high blood sugar and high cholesterol” kind of weight loss. For the first time, there is solid rationale for losing weight and the ad reminds us that the drug is “FDA Approved.”

Their DR print campaign leverages a strong headline, “You could be carrying more than just extra weight,” and the visuals show heavy sufferers who could benefit from Belviq. But the campaign could benefit from TV's power to tell the brand story, and we hope Eisai will use that power to connect with their target.

Otherwise, the print ad and DR will be a slow build—and the “offer” seems to reflect the kind of Join Up For Rewards program that has failed so often for the overweight in the Resolution era.


Deborah Dick-Rath is the president of Epic Proportions, a healthcare communications consultancy. She can be reached at deborahdrath@optonline.net

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