Takeda pins sleep-aid hopes on dreams

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One year after the launch of Rozerem, Takeda rolled out a DTC campaign aimed at unmedicated insomnia sufferers, advising that "Your dreams miss you."

The ads, by Cramer-Krasselt with AbelsonTaylor, look to reach busy, stressed-out, affluent 30-something consumers with sleeping problems, who shy away from medication for fear of side effects. TV spots feature insomniacs conversing with figments of their dreams—including Abe Lincoln and a talking beaver.

“We know there are a number of the 70 million US sufferers who have yet to take action because they're concerned about the risks,” said Chris Benecchi, product manager for neuroscience marketing at Takeda Pharmaceutical North America. “We have a sleep aid that's extremely safe and effective, and we felt we could break through with cutting-edge creative and strong messaging.”

While professional ads by AbelsonTaylor have focused on the drug's non-addictive profile, the company chose to take a somewhat different tact in reaching consumers. Takeda research showed that, in addition to concerns about daytime alertness and performance, people with sleeping difficulties missed their dreams. “To break through, we needed a different payoff, and dreaming is a sign of good quality sleep,” said Benecchi.

Takeda concedes spending on Rozerem DTC will be dwarfed by that for rival products, but TV spots are running on daytime network and cable TV, while print ads run in 14 titles. Also, Rozerem billboards and bus wraps will appear in seven major markets this month.

Ketchum is handling PR for the campaign. The firm is also utilizing rich media on news and weather Web sites, in-store advertising and a 20% off rebate offer through the Web or an 800 number.

Traffic to Rozerem.com has grown more than 800% in the several weeks since the broadcast ads launched.

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