With allergy season upon us, GSK Consumer Healthcare ramps up its marketing campaign for allergy medication – starting with a new video featuring baseball star Justin Verlander.
This is the second year that the Houston Astros pitcher promotes Flonase (fluticasone propionate), GSK’s allergy relief medicine. Unlike oral antihistamines, the nasal spray treats nasal congestion, considered one of the most bothersome allergy symptoms.
“I’ve suffered from allergies for as long as I can remember and having a career that requires me to be outside all the time can really exacerbate my symptoms,” said Verlander. “I’ve tried treating my allergies with pills in the past, but when I began incorporating Flonase into my daily routine, I experienced more complete relief.”
In this new ad, Verlander and his father are shown walking through a baseball field, throwing balls and talking about fatherhood. The fatherhood angle takes allergy relief one step further: with Flonase, Verlander can now focus on the sport and focus on raising a family.
“Growing up, my dad always reminded me to make the most of each moment and now that I’m a father, that sentiment really sticks with me,” said Verlander. “Whether I am playing baseball or spending time outside with my family, Flonase helps me enjoy each moment, without having to worry about my allergies holding me back.”
Allergy season can begin as early as February, when trees begin to produce large amounts of pollen. Other common outdoor allergens include grasses, ragweed and mold which can cause watery eyes, sneezing and nasal congestion in approximately 50 million allergy sufferers in the US. A report by Market Research Future says that the allergic rhinitis treatment market is expected to reach $15 billion by 2023.
According to Statistica, Flonase sales reached nearly $231 million in the US. Sanofi’s competing brand, Nasacort (triamcinolone) achieved only a fraction of Flonase sales at $84 million.
GSK Consumer Healthcare might have to watch out for other novel anti-allergy medications. Try contact lenses infused with antihistamines to combat allergy-induced itchiness. A phase III clinical trial delivered promising results for a special lens combining Johnson & Johnson and Alcon technologies. Itchy, watery eyes can also prevent a baseball player from performing at their best.
But with the megamerger between GSK and Pfizer announced last year, consumers can expect more blockbuster products emerging from the new consumer healthcare joint venture. The venture is expected to break off from GSK’s R&D-heavy portfolio within the next three years.