The autoimmune disease lupus can attack any healthy tissue — skins, joints and internal organs including the heart and kidneys — but it also affects certain communities more than others.

According to the Lupus Foundation of America, 90% of lupus patients are women and the disease is two to three times more prevalent among women of color compared to white women. 

“Lupus absolutely discriminates — most patients are women, ages 14 to 44, and it disproportionately impacts women of African-American, Hispanic and Asian descent,” says Krista Socha, Executive Director of Marketing, Immunology at AstraZeneca.

When AstraZeneca embarked on its ‘Here for More’ campaign for Saphnelo, it began by conducting market research. The drug is the first new treatment in a decade for systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), the most common form of lupus that affects up to 300,000 Americans and accounts for some 70% of lupus cases. 

Socha says that thousands of interviews with lupus patients revealed that they have a different relationship to the disease compared to patients living with some other illnesses. As a result, navigating and managing lupus often becomes an exhausting burden for patients. 

“The unique thing about SLE is that it has this ability to impact various organs throughout the body,” Socha says. “Each person has a different constellation of symptoms and a unique experience. People living with SLE have a deep, personal relationship with their lupus.”

While the manifestations of symptoms may vary, AstraZeneca’s research found that there was a common, widespread dissatisfaction with existing treatment options — 70% of patients were “desperate to find a treatment that better manages their lupus.”

The spot that is the heart of the Here for More campaign takes an approach adopted by other healthcare campaigns by centering the message on patients—with images of them smiling while enjoying their full lives of biking, shopping and admiring nature — instead of the disease. In Socha’s words, the goal of the Here for More campaign is to “help educate patients so that they can expect more from their SLE treatment options.”

Though the women in the ad get on with their lives, despite lupus, the constellations of symptoms that Socha describes are plotted atop them, visually bringing to life Saphnelo’s ability to target different symptoms in different patients. The “manifestations were uniquely their own,” Socha says about how patients experience lupus. “People have adapted to daily fatigue and have accepted the exhausting challenge of managing lupus,” she continues. “But patients deserve better and should have higher expectations of their treatment.”

Just as AstraZeneca presents its new treatment as able to address the various manifestations of lupus in a variety of organs, the campaign relies on a digital-first social media approach that Socha believes will get the Here for More message to the right people. 

“We are connecting with our patients in unique, targeted and impactful ways,” she says. “With this approach, we will be able to reach about 95% of our patient population with meaningful scale and connection.”

When asked why she thinks Here for More will connect with its target audience, Socha highlights the campaign’s representation of mundane and familiar scenarios for patients. 

“[The campaign] authentically represents the people who are living with this disease,” she says. “It’s not always the big moments in life, it’s the day-to-day moments, grounded in relationships with others, that it’s truly important to be there for.”