Johnson & Johnson's Centocor Ortho Biotech is launching a psoriasis awareness campaign featuring sufferer Jon Lovitz.
The funnyman has shot a series of comical videos that will air nationally and be housed on the campaign website, SeriousAboutPsoriasis.com.
The campaign got its start when Lovitz left a voicemail for Craig Stoltz, director for product communications on immunology brands at Centocor Ortho Biotech.
“It was a voice that I instantly recognized,” Stoltz blogged on JNJBTW.com. “It belonged to renowned Saturday Night Live actor and comedian, Jon Lovitz, who was calling with a proposition: help him raise awareness for a disease that he'd suffered with for nearly a decade.” Lovitz only recently got his psoriasis under control with the help of a dermatologist.
“A large portion of my body was covered in psoriasis,” Lovitz said in a statement. “I had plaques on my arms, back, stomach and scalp. It was embarrassing, painful and emotionally difficult to deal with until, finally, I got serious about my psoriasis and worked with a dermatologist to find an effective treatment. I decided to use my comedy to raise awareness about psoriasis, without making fun of having the disease. I hope that through hearing my story, people with psoriasis will feel inspired to talk with a dermatologist and get their symptoms under control.”
Video PSAs, directed by Airplane and Naked Gun director Jerry Zucker, include Lovitz singing a psoriasis-themed parody of the Maroon 5 song “This Love” and a beachside vignette in which Lovitz scares off a half-man, half-crab creature by flashing it.
The campaign also includes radio PSAs.
“I got this thing ‘bout ten years ago,” Lovitz sings in “Psoriasis is taking its toll on me,” “Should have seen my elbows, looked like Mount Kilimanjaro.”
Psoriasis affects about 7.5 million Americans, making it the most prevalent autoimmune disease in the US, according to the National Psoriasis Foundation, which is collaborating with Centocor Ortho Biotech on the campaign. The company compensated Lovitz for his participation in the effort.
Johnson & Johnson said it would donate one dollar to the National Psoriasis Foundation for each of the first 10,000 people who share the video of the song parody.