DDR on DTC: Xarelto

Deborah Dick-Rath
Deborah Dick-Rath

We used to say Rx brand names sounded like planets visited by the Starship Enterprise, and we now have an example in Xarelto (pronounced “Czar-rel-toe”). But Xarelto's DTC campaign is humanizing the brand and making it memorable­—at least for its target group of men 65 and over who have AFib and take blood thinners.

The strategy is to communicate that the brand can liberate patients from blood testing and worry. This DTC from Janssen/J&J connects an emotional benefit to the brand's functionality. The “liberation” is ­expressed by the patient throughout the commercial. In addition, the extended length of the spot underscores that the patient is on a new path as he travels to the other side of the world—New Zealand. That path is linked to the switch from Warfarin to Xarelto. The ad's tone is all about a “new day.”

The downside of this patient journey is a lot of fair balance. Obviously, the team is working on this—the campaign debuted at 2:00 and is now 1:20. In my view, the length is not an issue because the brand is telling a story. However, repeated views and media efficiencies will dictate that it should get further reduced.

Xarelto has staked out a new place for patients to go. Never mind that this is parity territory to Pradaxa—it doesn't matter to the patients. If they want to feel as free as the guy on his way to New Zealand, that's what they'll remember. Maybe it's not a new planet after all—just Middle Earth.

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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