Just in time for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Awareness Month, Allergan has launched their new “Yes Linzess” ad campaign to promote their constipation drug of the same name. The Yes Linzess ad highlights how Linzess can relieve belly pain and increase the frequency and completeness of bowel movements in individuals with IBS experiencing constipation, as well as those diagnosed with chronic idiopathic constipation.
Featuring actors sitting on the toilet while a voiceover says, “If you feel like you spend too much time in the bathroom, with recurring constipation and belly pain, talk to your doctor and say ‘Yes to Linzess,’” the ad is more literal than Allergan’s previous strategies for promoting the IBS drug. The company’s last ad campaign “Wearing on You” focused on the overwhelming feeling patients get when trying to manage their belly pain and constipation using a whole host of over-the-counter (OTC) remedies, like laxatives, probiotics and fibre supplements, and how Linzess can help.
“The last thing we’d ever want to do is offend someone,” said Aimee Lenar, VP of gastroenterology marketing at Allergan about their new, more direct ad campaign. “While you want to push the envelope, you never want to do anything in poor taste. We wanted to make sure that patients found it relatable, and they did.
“These patients can spend a lot of time in the bathroom—that is a hallmark of the condition—and it can really be frustrating. We wanted to also show, though, patients leaving the bathroom after they’ve had success with Linzess.”
Y&R New York was the advertising agency behind the new Linzess campaign, which will include TV, digital, print and social placements. This was the first campaign designed by Y&R since the company took over the Linzess account.
About 10 to 15 percent of the world’s population suffers from IBS, though symptoms are not always recognized by individuals, according to the International Foundation for Function Gastrointestinal Disorders. Co-developed by Ironwood Pharmaceuticals, Linzess was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2012. Bringing in US sales of just over $700 million in 2017, Linzess has captured the majority of the IBS market share.
However, Allergan is not without its competitors in the IBS space. Synergy’s Trulance was approved just last year for chronic idiopathic constipation and IBS with constipation. In 2006, the FDA approved Takeda’s Amitiza for the same indications as well as in the treatment of opioid-induced constipation.