While Gelnique is approved for use in men as well as women, Corona, Calif.-based Watson has opted to target the active, female OAB patient in its marketing efforts. The campaign highlights the power of control the gel offers to OAB patients rather than focusing on the predictable embarrassment and stigma associated with OAB. Gelnique is a quick-drying, clear and colorless, fragrance-free hydroalcoholic gel containing oxybutynin chloride. It is applied once daily to the thigh, abdomen, upper arm or shoulder.
The print ads show a woman wearing a sleeveless black dress with her hands forming a gun. At the tip of the gun is a dollop of Gelnique. The copy reads: "An innovative weapon against OAB." An insert shows a woman applying the gel to her upper arm.
"Because Gelnique is a first, we are launching our product with a unique promotional campaign, one that speaks to health care professionals and patients with language and images that are empowering," said Watson CEO Paul Bisaro. "We believe we can successfully position this new treatment option in a way that differentiates our product, and our message in a category that has been dominated by big pharma's tired and traditional promotion for years."
The marketing will be directed at doctors and patients. A patient brochure will be available in urologist/gynecologist waiting rooms and will be housed in a diamond-shaped tabletop holder. A coffee table book will also be available. A patient/consumer Web site launches in July with additional online tactics to follow. A print ad will run in medical trades.
OAB is characterized by a sudden, uncomfortable need to urinate with or without urge incontinence (urine leakage), and usually includes more frequent urination and nocturia (waking up at least once during the night to urinate). It affects as many as 34 million adults in the U.S. -- more than diabetes or asthma.
The U.S. OAB market currently exceeds $1.8 billion annually and continues to grow each year. More than an "inconvenience," OAB is disabling, and is associated with a marked decrease in health-related quality of life as well as higher rates of depression, according to Watkins. The disease affects both men and women. However, women experience more severe symptoms earlier in life.