Bristol Myers Squibb tapped Ted Danson to helm the SO, Have You Found It? campaign supporting its plaque psoriasis treatment Sotyktu (deucravacitinib). 

Unveiled on Tuesday morning, the marketing push serves as an extension of BMS’ Found It consumer campaign, which launched last year

Danson, who is known for his lengthy TV and film career – including his starring role in Cheers – is among the 2 million Americans who live with moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis, a condition that causes rashes and itchy, dry patches of skin.

SO Have You Found It? is kicking off with an 11-minute video featuring Danson discussing his experience living with plaque psoriasis in conversation with Emily, another patient advocate.

“Being part of ‘SO, Have You Found It?’ hits close to home for me,” Danson said in a press release. “This isn’t just another role; it’s a part of my life. I’ve dealt with the ups and downs of plaque psoriasis for decades. This campaign gives so many of us living with the condition a platform to openly share our stories and feel empowered to self-advocate and honor our identity.” 

The campaign is largely rolling out with social media and digital plays, according to Carlos Dortrait, SVP and GM of U.S. immunology and neuroscience at BMS.

While Danson’s star power is the driving force behind this effort, Dortrait told MM+M that the drugmaker is looking to lift the voices of those living with plaque psoriasis and empower them to take control of their care journey with the assistance of their physician.

Dortrait said one of the most appealing aspects of bringing Danson into the fold was his long-established reputation as a relatable everyman with an understated, charming sense of humor.

He added that as the flagship campaign boosting Sotyktu, BMS expects to bring in other spokespeople down the line and grow the drug’s profile.

“There’s a unique place for us to bring in the voice of the dermatologist,” he said. “This campaign, as it stands today, is strong on its own. But there are many iterations which make it highly campaignable, which can help us build even more interest in the marketplace and build off of that as well.”

Psoriasis wars continue

Approved in September 2022 by the Food and Drug Administration, Sotyktu showed greater efficacy as a once-daily drug compared to the placebo and rival twice-daily Otezla.

Sotyktu got its advertising launch as part of a direct-to-consumer advertising (DTC) campaign during the Grammy Awards in February 2023.

The plaque psoriasis space has become increasingly competitive and saturated in recent years, with the Danson ad marking the latest frontier in the medical marketing battle.

Just over a week ago, UCB launched Get Yourself Back, a DTC advertising campaign during the 96th Academy Awards in support of Bimzelx (bimekizumab-bkzx), its leading treatment for the psoriasis community.

While UCB has touted Bimzelx’s efficacy compared to other treatments on the market, BMS is continuing to promote Sotyktu as the superior option for this patient population.

Dortrait, who has been a part of numerous biologics launches over his executive career, acknowledged the bar for differentiation is high but said patients have expressed dissatisfaction with the options currently available to them and desire a highly effective, once-daily pill.

“When you take that insight with the unmet need, with the fact that we have a product that can fill it and the marketing horsepower that we have at BMS, we believe that this is an industry-leading campaign that can break through the crowded market and not be part of the commoditized biologics, but instead be in a unique space,” he said.