The countdown to Super Bowl LVIII 2024 has begun and businesses across a variety of sectors, including pharma, have snapped up some of the most coveted advertising airtime of the year. Pharma commercials at Super Bowl 2024 will include ones for newly approved menopause drug Veozah and a unique partnership between antacid giant TUMS and sports betting company DraftKings. This year’s kickoff will have the Kansas City Chiefs facing off against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, February 11, in Las Vegas.
At $7 million for 30 seconds of airtime, the Super Bowl is the most expensive time and place of the year for TV commercials.
While direct-to-consumer (DTC) TV advertising remains a mainstay marketing strategy in pharma, ads have mostly been relegated to evening hours during certain programs for older audiences. Along with the hefty price tag for screen time that may not be perceived to be a worthwhile investment, and despite favoring advertising at other major events like the Grammys, pharma tends to stay somewhat clear of all the Super Bowl hoopla. However, that could be changing.
From ads for DexCom’s continuous glucose monitor featuring singer Nick Jonas, Bristol-Myers Squibb’s plaque psoriasis drug Sotyktu (deucravacitinib), an unexpected ad for clinical trials and Astellas Pharma’s menopause awareness campaign, there was a notable pharma presence at the Super Bowl last year.
This year, Astellas will be repping pharma once again at the Super Bowl with a new TV spot for Veozah (fezolinetant). The drug, which received approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last year, will feature in a cut of a commercial Astellas first aired in October last year called “Fewer Hot Flashes, More Not Flashes.”
Along with Veozah, TUMS, which is no stranger to the Super Bowl, having aired ads for several years now, which is not surprising given the plethora of salty, sweet and greasy snacks synonymous with the occasion, will also be at the Super Bowl. This time, the antacid has teamed up with sports betting company DraftKings to launch Tums Prop Bites, which will give fans a chance to bet on which foods will be popular across America on game day for a shot at winning a share of a $10,000 prize pool.
In a press release, Astellas said it is bringing Veozah back to the Super Bowl to help educate viewers about the drug and the vasomotor symptoms (VMS) associated with menopause symptoms, such as hot flashes and night sweats, that it is designed to treat.
A still from the TV spot for Astellas’ Veozah, called “Fewer Hot Flashes, More Not Flashes,” that will air during Super Bowl 2024 (Astellas).
Jill Jaroch, senior director, Women’s Health at Astellas, explained that about half of the audience at the Super Bowl are women, making it “an incredible platform to showcase the different types of hot flash moments women in midlife may experience.”
“At Astellas, we want all women to feel heard and their unique needs to be validated, which is why we are continuing to elevate this conversation. After all, nearly half of women in the US going through menopause may experience moderate to severe VMS. We want to empower them to talk openly about their experiences and to have more informed discussions with their healthcare providers about Veozah,” said Jaroch.
The new Veozah TV spot depicts hot flash moments that women can relate to, communicating that fewer interruptions from moderate to severe VMS due to menopause can be possible.
“When women with VMS are not having a hot flash, that’s a not flash,” according to the ad, which is part of a larger consumer campaign that aims to encourage women to speak up and seek appropriate treatment options with their healthcare providers, said Astellas.
Last year, Astellas aired an ad during Super Bowl LVII to bring awareness around VMS in anticipation of Veozah’s approval, which Astellas received three months later. The disease awareness campaign featuring the ad, which was titled “Heat on the Street,” had “positive feedback, especially from women,” Jaroch said.
This year’s ad will be the first branded one for Veozah, which Astellas hopes will give it a further early market boost, especially as Bayer’s VMS drug candidate elinzanetant looms in the distance. Bayer is preparing to file for FDA approval based on strong Phase III data it shared last month.
In its first year on the market, Veozah earned 1.3 billion Japanese yen ($8.8 million) during the first six months of Astellas’ fiscal year.
The ad for TUMS Prop Bites, a collaboration between TUMS and DraftKings (TUMS).
Meanwhile, TUMS Prop Bites’ Super Bowl-themed ad features comedian Desus Nice. In a press release, unexpected partners TUMS and DraftKings said, “Tums Prop Bites is a first-of-its-kind platform where fans can make their free food picks and see how they stack up against the rest of the nation for a shot to win cash prizes.”
As a nifty tagline, the duo added, “Because with TUMS fast heartburn relief, you’ll never have to take a chance with your favorite foods.”
“We as a brand understand and appreciate the importance that people place around game day food. With TUMS Prop Bites, we’re able to celebrate the love for food alongside football, while reminding fans that TUMS fast heartburn relief allows them to enjoy their Big Game spreads without the risk of heartburn,” said Jissan Cherian, senior director, Digestive Health at TUMS.
With over 60 million bottles or rolls sold every year and touted as America’s #1 heartburn medicine, according to TUMS, TUMS remains an iconic player in the global antacids market, which was valued at $9.19 billion in 2022 and also includes big players like Alka Seltzer, Maalox, Mylanta, Rolaids and Pepto-Bismol.