When choosing a celebrity product spokesperson in the
scrutinized world of pharmaceutical communications, it's essential that great
care and consideration is put into the selection.
It's not enough for a celebrity to resonate with your target
market. Celebrity spokespeople need an organic connection to the disease state
and a true desire to raise awareness, diagnosis and treatment of the disorder.
In our current media landscape, consumers look for relevant testimonials they
can identify with and trust. With these elements, in conjunction with
appropriate timing for your brand, you have an ideal opportunity for a
At Shire, when we were ready to raise awareness of ADHD and
the importance of treatment, we saw an ideal scenario upon meeting celebrity
designer Ty Pennington. Diagnosed in college and treated with one of Shire's
ADHD medications, he was just getting involved with ABC's Extreme Makeover:
Home Edition and was interested in opportunities to speak about his condition.
Medication has improved his ability to focus, and this is a key reason for his
Pennington has worked with Shire for the past four years on
a variety of initiatives, including telling his personal ADHD story to millions
of Americans with our annual “ADHD Experts on Call” event. Both the media and
consumers have embraced his connection with ADHD, and this consistently results
in positive coverage.
In embarking on a celebrity campaign, it is imperative to
find a genuine personality who reinforces the product message through their
personal and professional life – one who can embrace the cause and not merely
be a poster boy for a disorder.
Michael Boken is senior product director of Vyvanse, the
next generation of ADHD treatment, at Shire Pharmaceuticals