Just ahead of having nabbed a historic approval for its respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) vaccine, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) launched ad campaigns to promote RSV awareness, particularly among older adults.
This includes the ‘Cut Short by RSV’ and ‘Sideline RSV’ campaigns launched in April and March, respectively.
For its ‘Sideline RSV’ campaign, GSK teamed up with NBA legend Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson to help raise awareness among communities about the risk RSV could pose to older adults. The campaign encourages people to know their risks to help ‘sideline RSV.’
The campaign includes a video featuring Johnson in which he explains how RSV infection can be especially dangerous for older adults because they are at an increased risk of severe infection from the virus. Johnson says his mission is to “empower older adults to be their own health advocates by putting their health first.”
While RSV typically causes mild flu/cold-like symptoms, it can lead to severe infections such as lower respiratory tract disease (LRTD) and pneumonia that can result in hospitalizations in older people and adults with certain conditions like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma or congestive heart failure (CHF).
The ‘Cut Short by RSV’ campaign includes a 30-second TV commercial that highlights how complications from RSV infection can be life-threatening for older people.
Like your typical pharma commercial, the ad starts off upbeat, showing people 60 years of age and older enjoying activities like museum outings and playing sports. However, it takes a dramatic turn when a disclaimer comes up stating that these moments could be ‘cut short by RSV.’
The spot has a call to action directing viewers to the RSVandMe.com website for more information.
Both the RSV TV ad and website are largely unbranded, except for a small GSK logo at the end of the video and at the bottom of the site’s homepage.
GSK’s website encourages visitors to ask for help by contacting them. And of course, a big help is the company’s newly approved RSV vaccine Arexvy.
Arexvy is the first RSV vaccine approved for adults 60 years of age and older.
Johnson also features in another ‘Cut Short by RSV’ campaign video.
Pfizer and Moderna are also developing RSV vaccines, with Pfizer anticipating an FDA approval for its shot in August 2023.