Novo Nordisk is looking to grab some of the diabetes market share from competitors like Trulicity (dulaglutide) by promoting its once-weekly injectable Type 2 diabetes drug Ozempic with a new DTC advertisement. The ad is set to the tune of hit song “Magic,” first popularized by the band Pilot in 1974, but makes a clever change to the song’s chorus to include the name Ozempic.
Since the average age of onset of Type 2 diabetes in the US is 54, Novo Nordisk is likely trying to capture the attention of patients who would have grown up in the 1970 listening to songs like Magic. What’s more, the actors in the commercial all appear to be middle-aged, further narrowing the drug’s target demographic.
The ad features three adults – including a firefighter, a farmer and a woman visiting a butterfly sanctuary – exclaiming “Oh!” after the narrator explains the benefits of Ozempic. But instead of including the original lyrics of the classic song, the singers in the commercial say, “Oh, oh, oh, Ozempic!”
The narrator explains results from a study of Ozempic which found that the majority of participants were able to lower their blood sugar and reach an A1C – a measure of blood glucose over two to three months – of under seven percent when taking the treatment. And while the on-screen text includes a disclaimer that “Ozempic is not a weight-loss drug” the narrator shares that individuals in the same study lost an average of 12 pounds over the course of a year while using Ozempic.
Plus, the commercial highlights the fact that Ozempic has not been associated with an increased risk of heart attack, stroke or death, clearly trying to compete with Jardiance (empagliflozin) and Victoza which also carry a cardiovascular benefit.
“With this campaign, what we’re trying to do is show patients there’s another treatment and if they have not been successful that Ozempic maybe an option to add to their treatment plan to help them meet their A1C goals,” Jenn Harrington, associate brand director of patient marketing for Novo Nordisk told BioPharma Dive. “What we tried to do is take an element of surprise around those key benefits, and put that to the creative to hopefully set us apart from the competition.”
Originally approved in December, the injectable diabetes drug has a ways to go before it can command as much market share as Novo Nordisk’s once-daily drug Victoza (liraglutide). Still analysts believe the drug has blockbuster potential, which could reach $2.2 billion in annual sales by 2022, according to market intelligence firm Evaluate. And if the company can successfully formulate Ozempic into a daily oral medication, it could be looking at capturing even more of the diabetes market.