DDR on DTC: Humira

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Deborah Dick-Rath
Deborah Dick-Rath

I have commented before on AbbVie's successful marketing approach for their Humira franchise—and once again attention must be paid. This time, they are firing on all of DTC's cylinders to educate and convert Crohn's Disease sufferers to their brand.

Very informative “unbranded” :30 commercials touch on the anxiety of Crohn's sufferers in managing their symptoms. The “What If?” tagline reflects how this anxiety is exacerbated by the warning that the disease could lead to harm if untreated. The spots direct sufferers to go online and to talk to a doctor “for answers.” Nicely produced, with just a little bit of scariness.

The Humira branded :60 spots speak to diagnosed patients who are reminded to talk with their gastroenterologist. These spots end on a remarkable message of hope, “Remission is Possible.”

There is nothing fancy here. In fact, the “urgent” cues in the unbranded spot reminded me of effective problem-solution OTC ads. The branded spots are typically loaded with Fair Balance while we watch a “relieved” patient enjoying life. However, what makes this campaign great is the way that Humira links the advantages of the unbranded commercial to find and educate sufferers with the branded campaign. All commercials leverage the same anxiety over disease symptoms. In this way, AbbVie has stepped up and taken the lead—and their brand will be the beneficiary. Yet another notch in the belt of the Humira franchise.


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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