I was SURPRISED to see this new DTC print ad by Allergan for Latisse–the first and only prescription product to help with “hypotrichosis”–another name for having inadequate or not enough eyelashes!
With the economy in the dumps and Pharma and DTC advertising under increasing scrutiny, here’s a new print campaign for what might seem like a pretty trivial and ‘soft’ medical condition. Adding to this is the fact that they are using a celebrity endorsement in their advertising-Brooke Shields- which adds an extra level of scrutiny these days– and they’re advertising to the consumer within the first six months of introduction (I guess their thinking is that this is a safe cosmetic treatment and therefore shouldn’t follow the latest PhRMA Guidelines. It contains the active ingredient of the glaucoma drug Lumigan, which is also made by Allergan).
They’ve tapped Brooke with terrific testimonial video and great ‘before and after’ photos (not retouched of course) demonstrating results at 12 weeks…hoping women will return to see her results at 16 weeks. (Honestly, I can’t ever remember ever thinking that Brooke’s eye lashes were ever deficient…I do remember her for her stand against postpartum depression which I think was greatly admired by many. ) There’s also a fund raising effort for ‘make a wish foundation’ on the website.
Here’s a pure cosmetic play in both look and feel and content-there’s no medical information on the website tied to hypotrichosis. With this current economic climate, can this DTC effort generate a strong ROI?
Are there enough Women out there willing to embark on a once-daily prescription treatment that will:
- likely not be covered by insurance
- need to be taken everyday for 8 weeks before seeing the first results, and up to 16 weeks for full results
- need to be taken ‘forever’ in order to maintain the effect
And since its early days in its lifecycle, there’s the assumption of no hidden side effects down the road… (Botox Botulism)
While Latisse brings consumers choice, how do cosmetic campaigns like this fit into the current and future standards of DTC Marketing that are increasingly moving to engage and educate, facilitate patient conversations with doctors, encourage adherence– and bring consumers an overall sense of greater hope and control over their own health?