DTC marketing for Systane is highly impactful because Kate Walsh connects well with the audience. She is not a doctor, but she plays one on TV in the popular show Grey's Anatomy. She is partnering with Alcon in its new campaign, "Make Every Look Count" for Systane. It is likely to garner attention from a large group of people, around 14M across all platforms. Character development in the show engenders personal relationships among viewers.
How Can Systane Help Kate
In the recent Fierce Pharma article, Walsh is quoted as saying, “For years, I blamed my tired eyes on the bright lights on set, too much screen time, the need for a new eye prescription and other things. After I learned I had dry eye, I went on a journey to find the right solution. Because the symptoms caused me to be distracted during important moments, on and off-set. We hope this campaign will encourage others to find what works for their dry eye symptoms, so they can reconnect with loved ones and the experiences in life that matter most.”
This campaign for Systane can be impactful because she is relating her experience with Systane to issues that she faces with dry eye. An added benefit that her portrayal of a doctor can influence optometrists. In this way, she is copying the positive impact achieved by Restasis marketing.
The "Kate Campaign" follows the recent pattern evolving within Pharma that utilizes a multi-channel approach. It hits the audience from multiple angles creating the classic "media multiplier" effect. It relies on both organic and paid social content. If Kate is successful, the marketing can be expanded to other channels. It is likely that it will use social media videos. This approach is scalable and will generate interest among the target audience. BTF Lifesciences reports that tweets with videos are six times more likely to be retweeted and lift brand awareness in viewers by 50%. On Facebook, video posts have a 25% higher engagement rate than photo posts and a 79% higher engagement rate than link posts.
Let The Competition Begin
Systane is not alone in this type of advertising. Lumenis launched its advertising for OptiLight with another celebrity, Mandy Moore. She was featured in the popular TV show, "this is us." These campaigns compete with better-known brands such as Xiidra from Novartis, Restasis from AbbVie, and Cequa from Sun Pharma. These brands benefit from marketing budgets that dwarf brands like Lumenis. In such a competitive category, does it even stand a chance? Maybe. So many factors will affect the potential success of the brand. Challenger brands can effectively compete against (but not "beat") the Goliath brands. In most cases, this involves successfully utilizing digital and social marketing. Successful Use of Patient Education Programs In this category, patients are actively trying to learn about issues with eyesight. Bausch + Lomb recently initiated a partnership with the Prevent Blindness group to increase awareness of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). It features patients who are telling their stories about how they cope with AMD.
With the cataract awareness campaign already underway the company is happy with the results. Gordon said they’re “pleased by the engagement we have seen so far and look forward to the momentum building.” Prevent Blindness CEO Jeff Todd made a statement in a press release. He said that with rising cases, it's “critical” to educate people early about cataracts and the effectiveness of surgery. This education can be critical for patients who experience AMD.
In all these cases, marketing is connecting with patients to provide them with information about how they can treat their optical issues. The first step toward treatment in is the hands of the patients. They need the information to take that step.