Khloé Kardashian is headlining a TV spot for Biohaven’s Nurtec ODT that is designed to make the drug stand out in the crowded migraine field. But the stakes are higher now than they were two years ago, when Kardashian became the brand’s highest-profile pitch woman.
In the latest commercial, Kardashian is seen going about her work day as a clothing designer. “There’s nothing glamorous about migraines,” she says, talking up Nurtec ODT’s pain-relieving and preventative properties.
The ad is part of “All in One,” a campaign that seeks to highlight the tablet as the only medication approved for both acute and chronic migraine treatment.
Biohaven SVP of brand marketing Graham Goodrich reported a roughly 30% boost in organic searches for the brand name in the two weeks since the ad hit national airwaves.
“Every time Khloe launches something, we usually get a nice bump,” he said.
Biohaven is hoping for more than a traffic boost. The campaign is launching as the company prepares to transfer its migraine brands and pipeline over to Pfizer — which, in May, announced its intent to buy Biohaven for $11.6 billion. The transaction is slated to close early next year; analysts said Pfizer plans to significantly hike promotion of the migraine franchise.
That raises the stakes for Nurtec ODT. Biohaven’s main rival in the oral CGRP space is AbbVie, which markets separate drugs for migraine attacks and prevention (Ubrelvy and Qulipta, respectively). Based on weekly NRx data as of mid-May, AbbVie in aggregate has slightly over 53% share of the oral CGRP market, versus 47% for Biohaven, according to SVB Securities.
Goodrich reported that Nurtec ODT leads in terms of its net promoter scores (a measure of patient satisfaction) as well as TRx and NBRx (new-to-brand prescriptions).
Biohaven is thus betting that Kardashian, who first signed on as a Nurtec ODT spokesperson shortly after its approval in February 2020, can capture the old magic. That year, it led in NBRx shortly after launch, in spite of Ubrelvy’s eight-week head start and the popularity of its own spokesperson, tennis legend Serena Williams.
Part of the original campaign involved posts on Kardashian’s social media accounts. One Instagram post alone received more than 700,000 likes and 5 million views, MM+M reported at the time.
It was a year later, in early 2021, that Nurtec ODT turned to the reality star and influencer for its first TV spot. The commercial portrayed her in a more casual setting — on the couch playing with her daughter — and emphasized Nurtec ODT as a one-dose treatment for migraine attacks. Later that year, the brand added an indication for migraine prevention.
Both spots show Kardashian living her life despite struggles with migraines, but the latest ad reflects the evolution of the marketing to communicate why having one drug for both treatment and prevention is unique. To drive home that message, the new spot includes an animation of the Nurtec ODT tablet dissolving. It’s accompanied by the words, “Treat and prevent, all in one.”
That value proposition is designed to resonate with primary care doctors, Goodrich said. “That’s where most people with migraine are seen on a regular basis, and PCPs seek out simplicity in medications.”
Ads featuring Kardashian and two other patients are running nationally across network broadcast, cable and connected TV, as well as on the Nurtec ODT website and on the brand’s Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Reddit accounts. More digital activations are planned, including sponsored posts from Kardashian’s own accounts.
Goodrich said the current campaign will continue to integrate DTC, streaming TV and the brand’s digital and social platforms. He characterized the marketing strategy as “get out of the way and let people with migraine tell their stories.”
“From a media perspective, we’ve always been a social- and digital-first brand and used TV as a complement,” he explained. “The reason why we’ve leveraged the social and digital channels so heavily is because this is where modern storytelling happens. It’s on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Reddit. And we need to be present where people are telling stories, not just where people are selling advertising.”
The ads were created by Klick Health, which is the brand’s agency of record. PR firm Sam Brown helped Biohaven connect with Kardashian and the other migraine sufferers featured in the ads.