It’s estimated that up to 33 million Americans suffer the symptoms of chronic dry eye disease, including redness, itching and watering. Using its new ad campaign titled, “Eyepowerment,” global pharmaceutical company Allergan hopes to inspire individuals experiencing these symptoms to talk to their doctor about treatment options for the eye condition.
“As a global leader in eye care, we are always working toward raising awareness for and renewing the conversation around the issue of Chronic Dry Eye since it affects millions of people,” said Herm Cukier, Senior Vice President, Eye Care, Allergan. “The campaign taps into consumers’ emotions, hopefully inspiring more people to find Eyepowerment.”
The ad campaign features iconic celebrities and other historical figures, including Grace Kelly, Amelia Earhart and Frida Kahlo. According to Allergan, these women were chosen as the faces of the campaign because their “presence – and eyes – helped tell their personal story, reveal their character and leave their mark on the world.”
Eyepowerment includes digital, social, television and print ads, and is backed-up by public relations support. The social media campaign was officially launched on February 24.
In promotion of the DTC ad campaign, Allergan enlisted the help of various celebrities and influencers who tweeted using the hashtag, #Eyepowerment during the Academy Awards last month. Allergan also vowed to donate $10 for every “eye selfie” posted using the hashtag to the charitable organization, Dress for Success.
Allergan’s disease awareness ad campaign is poised to further promote its blockbuster dry eye drug, Restasis. Last year, direct competitor, Shire launched its Restasis competitor, Xiidra.
When Allergan hired actress Marisa Tomei to be the face of Restasis, Shire followed suit by recruiting actress Jennifer Aniston to star in the company’s “eyelove” commercial. Despite the competition between the drugmakers, some analysts believe there’s enough room in the dry eye market for both companies.
“As Shire’s Xiidra continues to ramp up, we expect the dry eye market to expand to approximately two billion and become a stable oligopoly between the two products,” said Bernstein’s Ronny Gal. In addition, Gal predicted that the approval timeline for generic dry eye drugs could be delayed, giving Allergan and Shire’s dry eye treatments more time on the market without generic competition.