Zelnorm

Situation

At launch, Zelnorm was the only prescription medicine approved to treat Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) a condition affecting millions of women. But that didn’t matter because women were simply too embarrassed to talk about it with their doctors. Worse, some doctors who didn’t understand the condition would attribute it to stress or emotional problems.

Zelnorm could only succeed if women understood IBS and felt confident asking for a drug to treat it. The creative would have to convince them to break their silence while also convincing their doctors of their very real suffering.

Approach

The insights told us we had to get women to speak. But traditional testimonials wouldn’t have stood out in a healthcare arena cluttered with talking heads. So we created a bold, visual campaign called “Tummies”, in which women’s frustration and symptoms were written right out on their bellies as they lifted their shirts. As a result, Zelnorm could both inspire women to reveal their own condition and also own the very area that the drug was meant to treat.

Results

The approach instantly empowered thousands of women to talk about IBS; in fact, some went in to their doctors and actually lifted their shirts to reference the ads.

Sales results were loud and clear too: the Tummies campaign surpassed all projections with 390,000 new patient prescriptions. Total prescriptions increased 90%; new prescriptions increased 64%. And finally, brand and advertising awareness were 50% above norms.