Endo pivots its Dupuytren’s campaign from John Elway to a patient-led pitch

Forget John Elway. Endo is looking to ordinary patients to lead its updated campaign in Dupuytren (DC).

Dina Sarasik, director of consumer marketing at Endo, said Endo hired the former Denver Broncos quarterback to help lead its Facts At Hand awareness campaign in 2019, and it was “very successful for us.”

Now, though, it was time to go in a new direction, Sarasek said — and turning around toward the sick seemed a natural progression.

“We have conducted more than 65 hours of in-depth interviews with directly diagnosed patients who have been treated or not treated, and what we have learned is that while [Elway] The campaign raised awareness and helped get a diagnosis, but did not lead to specific information about treatment options, and when treatment should take place,” Sarasik explained.

The disease causes a buildup of collagen in the hands, causing the fingers to bend. Endo sells the injectable drug Xiaflex for Dupuytren’s contracture, as well as – more recently Peyronie’s disease – where Endo has done marketing with his bent-carrot campaign. The property made $316 million in 2020.

In 2019, the campaign used television ads and a website showing videos of Elway talking about his journey, along with other videos featuring professional golfer Tim Herron, who was a speaker for outreach efforts prior to Elway’s joining.

This latest iteration aims to highlight people’s reluctance about treatment and correct misconceptions that may prevent many from seeking it. It also highlights the simple ‘table test’, where you place your hand, the palm of your hand, on a table to see if it is level. If it doesn’t, you may have contractures that could use treatment.

Television advertisements for the campaign, which began running this week, focus on a group of patients and a doctor sitting around a table. They aim to show in a simple but powerful way what disease can do to a person’s hands.

RELATED: Endo recruits former QB star John Elway for Dupuytren’s contracture awareness efforts

Through his research, Endo found that while patients were getting a diagnosis — a key first step and winning the campaign — they were asked to “watch and wait” to see if the disease progressed, Sarasic said. They did not get clear guidance on treatment plans from their doctors.

This could lead to an almost “complacent” approach to the disease, Sarac said, in which patients actually feel comfortable with their hands and their limits, and find “solutions” for their daily activities.

Meanwhile, their disease continues to progress – after which they find themselves experiencing more severe cramping, and struggling with treatment decisions get in the way of the disease.

The new campaign is set up to take advantage of the authenticity of real patients and aims to go beyond the “watch and wait” laxity.

The campaign also opened up to a much more diverse group of people and status forms. “There is something very powerful about highlighting these individuals and their stories, and it allows us to show the diversity here: not just men and women, but a wide range of races and, most importantly, the diversity of contractions,” Sarac said.

“When you look at the ads and the pictures, it’s really helpful for the metropolitan community to see people with this condition, because they really don’t see it that often.”

Endo won’t talk about the campaign’s budget — past or future — but said it will track responses to ads and visits to its website. Corresponding posts are scheduled to be published on social media sites on Facebook and Twitter, and initially on Indo and Instagram, which aims to be clicked by mid-2022.

Sarasik added that social media has proven to be a “great way to reach that audience,” describing Instagram as an exciting new platform for the company. She hopes that the new installment will yield the high-end engagement Endo saw across social media last year.

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