Latuda, a new bipolar anti-depression brand from Sunovion, has joined the DTC fray with an integrated campaign targeted at women betweeen 25 and 49. This is a very complicated disease to diagnose/treat and those complexities lead to the massive Fair Balance that Latuda has to carry in its advertising. Fortunately, this has not derailed Sunovion from offering Latuda as an option to sufferers. It is leveraging DTC in its marketing mix to help build awareness and intent-to-ask among its target patients.

The cross-channel campaign utilizes a metaphor of going from darkness to light. Although ­someone should have told the Latuda team, “Your insights are showing,” that’s okay. What works really well is the actor. She is ordinary, not glamorous. She likes to exercise, but not a lot. She works in an office and goes to cafés with friends. So, she is “in the light,” out of her dark room.  We get to see the film of her life in typical DTC format without speaking—only voiceover/Fair Balance. The print ad replicates the TV ad, with her face in front of open Venetian blinds, surrounded by Fair Balance copy.

Despite the overt and obvious insight and the very long Fair Balance, the campaign succeeds because the woman we see is, just like the Mona Lisa, just about to smile. This is how the campaign leverages optimism and a bit of hope. She is beginning to see the light, and beginning to be alright.

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