GSK knows a thing or two about communicating with consumers about respiratory conditions—they successfully leveraged DTC on Advair for years, paving the way for many DTC competitors. Now, they have launched BREO for COPD. And those letters and the capitalization mean a lot to the campaign. Unfortunately, COPD is very prevalent due to a large, aging population of smokers and ex-smokers, a leading cause of the condition. And there are a multitude of treatment options. Fortunately, GSK recognizes that DTC is needed as a primary driver in this marketing mix.

The BREO campaign works on many levels to be memorable. The name, in capital letters, is mimicked in the typeface of the letters COPD. In addition, the patients in the advertising spell out their four-letter names to match BREO and COPD. For example, we see J-A-N-E and K-A-T-E describe how BREO is helping them live their lives. The campaign has made an effort to show people enjoying, but not exerting themselves. We see nice people doing leisurely things like participating in a book group or doing ceramics.

The pitch and tone of the ads are soft, but the linkage of the brand name and disease is strong. This is right for the category and for the patients. Everything works to introduce this new treatment option to potential users. Even the name, BREO, holds the promise of better breathing—and for COPD sufferers, that spells relief.

Deborah Dick-Rath is the president of Epic Proportions, a healthcare communications consultancy. She can be reached at [email protected]