Astellas Pharma has one burning question to ask viewers during Super Bowl LVII: What’s VMS?
If you don’t know what it is, don’t worry, you’re not alone.
VMS stands for vasomotor symptoms, which is the medical definition for hot flashes and night sweats associated with menopause.
More than 1 million women, typically those between the ages of 45 and 55, experience menopause each year, according to data from the National Institutes of Health. Despite being relatively common, not much is known about the health effects of menopause.
To promote awareness around VMS and menopause in general, the Japanese drugmaker bought a 30-second spot during the Super Bowl. The commercial, which features actress Carmella Riley asking women on the street about VMS and their experiences with menopause, will run after the coin flip and before kickoff.
“If you’re heated about being overheated go to WhatsVMS.com,” she says at the end of the ad.
The website offers a host of educational materials on living with VMS, a short questionnaire on menopause symptoms experienced by women and resources available to treat the condition.
VMS is a point of interest for the company. Astellas has been seeking approval for fezolinetant, which is an investigational oral, nonhormonal compound that treats moderate-to-severe VMS symptoms associated with menopause.
In August, the Food and Drug Administration accepted the company’s New Drug Application for fezolinetant, which has a PDUFA target action date of February 22.
Marking Astellas’ first time advertising at the Super Bowl, What’s VMS? was produced by creative agency Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness, which was named a 2022 MM+M Agency 100 honoree. Additionally, Publicis Health Media, another 2022 MM+M Agency 100 honoree, was the media agency that partnered with Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness for the ad.
Astellas’ ad is one of a handful of healthcare-related commercials that will be airing during the big game on Sunday night. Others include Nick Jonas’ starring role in a Dexcom ad promoting its new G7 glucose monitoring system and Publicis Groupe’s Working with Cancer initiative.
This is the second major news coming out of the pharma company this week. The ad is running days after Astellas named its chief strategy officer Naoki Okamura as its next CEO in a push to “go on the aggressive.”
Editor’s note: This story has been updated.