In a first for a COVID-19 preventive drug approved by the FDA under Emergency Use Authorization, AstraZeneca has launched a commercial to bring word of Evusheld to millions of immunocompromised Americans.
The ad, from FCB Health Network’s Area 23, will run through year end on online and connected TV, with amplification on digital and social channels. Specific outlets include Yahoo, Fox, CBS Sports, MSN and ESPN.
These media were chosen in order to reach “immunocompromised individuals and their loved ones…on channels in which they are most engaged,” Andrew Leone, AstraZeneca’s executive director, vaccine sales and marketing, told Marketing Daily
The target audience, he says, is millions of 12+ Americans “with moderate to severe immune compromise due to a medical condition or immunosuppressive medications and who may not mount an adequate immune response to COVID-19 vaccination, as well as those individuals for whom COVID-19 vaccination is not recommended.”
Such wordy explanations may explain why the commercial clocks in at 90 seconds, fully two-thirds of which is taken up with disclaimers, warnings and the like.
Leone notes that AstraZeneca “sought feedback from the FDA’s OPDP [Office of Prescription Drug Promotion] prior to launching the campaign.”
Then, “during the shooting/production, all COVID precautions were taken and included. Negative COVID tests were required 24 hours prior to shooting, temperature checks were required upon arrival and masks had to be worn the entire day. This had a positive impact during the shoot by creating an authentic experience and really reinforcing why this campaign is so important.”
The spot ends with the line, “Ask your doctor today about how Evusheld can help prevent COVID-19.”
Indeed, doctors are the final link in a process that’s been building for months since AstraZeneca received FDA emergency use approval for Evulsheld back in December.
The pharma firm has been supplying the U.S. government with 1.7 million doses of the therapeutic, Leone said. The Department of Health and Human Services then allocates doses to state health departments for distribution to healthcare facilities, with state health officials then determining all sites of administration.
AstraZeneca has also been “working closely with the U.S. government to support healthcare professionals, patients and patient groups in receiving education around Evusheld.” Leone said.
Such education is essential, according to Leone, as AstraZeneca market research has found low awareness of therapeutic COVID-19 measures, but high motivation from patients to learn more about additional protection options, with 90% of patients saying they’d consider such protection on top of vaccines.
“AstraZeneca chose to invest in this effort because it is the right thing to do for patients and will help to build awareness and further educate on preventative options to combat COVID-19,” Leone concluded.