Each year, World Diabetes Day brings renewed attention to a disease that affects more than half a billion people worldwide. Dexcom wanted to make sure the highs and lows of their day-to-day lives were on display for the general public.
As part of the #SeeDiabetes campaign, the glucose monitoring company called on its legion of patient ambassadors, known as Dexcom Warriors, to participate in a portrait gallery detailing how the disease impacts their lives and how they have been able to manage the condition.
Unveiled Tuesday, the portrait gallery features more than a dozen Dexcom Warriors expressing a range of emotions in their poses, all accompanied by captions that detail how they live with an invisible, incurable disease.
The gallery’s creative direction was helmed by Australian model and Dexcom Warrior Bambi Northwood-Blyth and photographed by portrait photographer Fernando Sippel.
Many of the portrait subjects attribute having some aspect of control over their lives to Dexcom’s continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) devices, specifically the G7 CGM system, which was made available nationwide in February.
The device, which was also featured in a 30-second ad during Super Bowl LVII, doesn’t require a finger prick, tracks a person’s glucose levels and projects where they are going.
Many of the portrait subjects are regular citizens or pediatric diabetes patients, but Dexcom also has several notable CGM users, including pop icon Nick Jonas, actor Victor Garber and the Godmother of Soul Patti Labelle.
At the portrait unveiling, Labelle told MM+M that the G7 CGM has been a critical part of her care routine and has saved her life from the complications associated with diabetes.
She also recognized her role as a public figure to raise awareness of her condition as well as the medical devices that keep diabetes in check to her fans.
“I talk about [the G7 CGM] all the time because it has done so many positive things for me,” she said. “I know I can help a lot of my friends and fans who are diabetic, and many of them have started on [G7 CGM] since I’ve been out there giving them information on it.”
Teri Lawver, EVP and chief commercial officer of Dexcom, said the company’s marketing strategy is centered on patient testimonials, which impact people viewing the ads and provide meaningful feedback on how to make the devices as effective for users as possible.
Lawver added that #SeeDiabetes supports the company’s ongoing efforts to expand not only awareness for diabetes but also the access and availability of CGMs.
“The pragmatic business benefit of doing this is around the issue of access. While we say every journey is different and our technology fits into everybody’s journey differently, the one thing that should be the same for everybody is access,” she said.
Dexcom said that since #SeeDiabetes launched in November 2022, coverage for CGMs has grown from 8 million people to 14 million people globally. While Lawver acknowledges that progress has been made since last year, the company remains engaged in conversations with commercial payers as well as Medicare and Medicaid to overcome barriers to access facing patients nationwide.
Between the Super Bowl ad and the renewal of its name, image, likeness program for college athletes with diabetes, 2023 has been a busy year for Dexcom. Looking ahead, Lawver said the company is planning on a major product announcement in the summer of 2024.