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The Vaccines of Glaxo

This is a big year for vaccines. The daily mentions of the progress on Covid-19 vaccine development and the push for increased flu vaccine coverage is raising the awareness of vaccines in general. The push from vaccine makers for their existing vaccines is likely to increase this year.

Certainly flu DTC is going to increase as the opportunity to increase sales is there with only about 50% of the population getting vaccinated. The government is sure to add to the DTC mix as they do not want to see flu cases increase along side of Covid.

Glaxo has two vaccines currently using DTC. Both are unbranded. They also do a corporate spot on the value of vaccines in general. The general campaign is multi-media and focuses on life’s moments worth protecting. It explains how vaccines have allowed us to have these moments of enjoying life because vaccines prevent disease. Both TV and print use vignettes of family moments like birthday parties, outdoor hiking, fishing with grandkids, and beach scenes. The one page ad in print has the headline saying Brought to You by Vaccines referring to the moments in the picture below.

Glaxo has two specific disease education campaigns. Shingles vaccine Shingrix, approved in 2017 is used to help prevent the approximately 1 million new cases diagnosed in the US annually. The campaign is multi-media using the line “Shingles can be Whaaat? Prevented.” Both TV and print use the theme. They show people being told about Shingles and responding surprised that this painful condition can be prevented. The campaign is targeted 50+. It is a very simple but effective campaign. Basically, Shingles is painful, is lurking in anyone who had chicken pox but can be prevented. 

The next campaign is for Meningitis B. Again a multi-media campaign is used. The target is parents with teens heading off to college. The latest TV campaign shows teens at prom, on the soccer field, and entering their freshman dorm. The message is that a rare but serious disease, Meningitis B, is possible in affecting teens. It kills 1 in 10 of those afflicted and causes lifelong problems in many who recover. This campaign is emotional and plays on the parental desire to do all they can to protect their kids.

The print campaign is similar to the TV spot. It uses the name of the teen as a headline supered over a picture of the teen. Inside the name is the letter B, highlighted to reinforce the Meningitis B. In print, the Robert execution is used; in TV we see Sabrina, Kimberly, and Robert with the highlighted B.

It is likely that all the Covid and Flu vaccine discussion will lead to general physician patient discussions on what other vaccines are available. The drug makers will be doing ads on the long history of vaccines and how safe they have been. This is needed to encourage the large skeptical population afraid to take vaccines for Covid, Flu, and other diseases. This has been caused by the anti-vaxxer movement and political issues surrounding the Covid warp speed project. 

Expect that once a Covid vaccine has been clinically shown safe and effective, HHS and drug makers will spend lots on DTC convincing us vaccines are safe and effective. All vaccines could benefit from the halo effect of Covid vaccine ads. Given the attention on vaccines, expect all vaccine makers will join the DTC push in late 2020 and 2021. This Covid year has been awful for most Americans, but the silver lining is the expected major investment in vaccine development as Covid will not be the last pandemic threat.
Bob Ehrlich
DTC Perspectives, Inc.
Bob Ehrlich
Chairman & Chief Executive Officer at DTC Perspectives
Bob Ehrlich has over 20 years marketing experience in pharmaceutical and consumer products. Bob is the CEO of DTC Perspectives, Inc., a DTC services company founded in 2000. DTC Perspectives, Inc. developed the DTC National Conference, the largest DTC conference in the industry. DTC Perspectives, Inc. also publishes DTC Perspectives, a quarterly journal dedicated to DTC issues and practices. In addition DTC Perspectives, Inc. does DTC consulting for established and emerging companies, and provides DTC marketing plans for pharmaceutical companies.
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