PM360 2020 Innovative Strategy Virtual DTC Spots from Patients & Purpose and AstraZeneca

Virtual DTC Spots

Patients & Purpose and AstraZeneca

Nicholas Lucente, Director, Consumer & Digital Marketing

AstraZeneca learned in April that people experiencing signs of a heart attack were often avoiding the hospital for fear of getting COVID-19. They enlisted the help of Patients & Purpose to: 1) quickly raise general awareness about the importance of calling 911 at the first signs of a heart attack; and 2) remind heart attack survivors that BRILINTA reduces the risk of future heart attacks.

COVID-19 forced Patients & Purpose to be nimbler and more innovative when it came time to produce a high-impact campaign—and with no precedent to follow, the team staged a first-ever virtual TV shoot with brand ambassador and heart attack survivor, Bob Harper, to deliver a disease education message about surviving a heart attack and a branded message about continuing treatment to stay a survivor.

The production was completed with a very limited in-person production crew, abiding by COVID-safe protocols, and was virtually live-streamed from a fully remote video village. Patients & Purpose scouted locations, directed, and produced both TV spots from nearly 3,000 miles away, working through all production hurdles in real-time.

Rather than getting actors and actresses involved (which would’ve been nearly impossible given social distancing rules), the commercial featured Bob with his real-life partner and loved ones. This added to the authenticity of the spot while showing cultural relevancy, diversity, and inclusion—a big win for AstraZeneca and patients.

In the end, these two spots seamlessly showcased beautiful, evocative stories that reminded people to seek help and stay on treatment—and they were each produced from home offices during a global pandemic.


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