DDR on DTC: Lexiva

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Having been born in 1997, DTC advertising is now officially a “teenager.” And just like any teen, it has its moments of rebellion (getting ready or a standoff with the FDA) as well as unexpected (but welcome) moments of insight and maturity.

One case in point is the latest campaign for Lexiva, an HIV drug from GlaxoSmithKline and its biotech partner, Vertex. While the print ad is typically straightforward and loaded with the usual caveats and disclaimers, the use of one emotionally connective word elevates its message and gives it tremendous power in encouraging patients to seek treatment. That word is “cherished.”

The headline, “I am cherished,” which runs above a photograph of a healthy, happy couple, hits the bull's-eye by downplaying “having a disease” in favor of “living a life.” The Lexiva website offers additional, powerful statements (“I am needed.” “I am loved.” “I am involved.”) combined with other equally impactful photos.

This is a riveting example of how a DTC ad can educate and persuade a patient to seek treatment. The campaign follows last year's Lexiva ad, which presented an HIV patient being overwhelmed with life's activities and “needing a treatment plan.” But that campaign could have been for any number of drugs or conditions. There is no mistaking the intent of the new ad. And there is no mistaking its effectiveness to break through to its target audience.

Kudos to GSK-Vertex for this beautifully simple, yet powerful ad!

Deborah Dick-Rath is SVP, healthcare practice leader, at FactorTG. Contact: deborah.dick-rath@factortg.com
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