PM360 2021 Trailblazer Awards Infectious Disease Brand Champion Megan Shultis

Megan Shultis, Director, U.S. Consumer Lead, Adult Pneumococcal Vaccine Marketing, Pfizer

Due to the pandemic, 2020 was an eventful year for vaccines. As a result, vaccination with Prevnar 13 was significantly impacted. Megan Shultis deftly led the franchise’s consumer marketing team to reimagine the marketing approach during this sensitive and complex time.

Before COVID-19, Prevnar 13 campaigns highlighted the dangers of pneumococcal pneumonia. But as the pandemic raged, immunocompromised adults over the age of 65 (still at risk for pneumococcal pneumonia) were put on even higher alert for COVID-19. How could the brand maintain awareness without causing the added distress of multiple vulnerabilities?

Meg rallied Pfizer stakeholders and agency partners to pivot. Instead of marketing Prevnar 13 with a risk-based approach, the team positioned the vaccination as a positive preventive health measure. By helping people feel more empowered, Prevnar 13 was presented as a priority, not a reminder of vulnerability.

Under Meg’s leadership, the team shifted direct-to-consumer plans and budgets; expedited production and approvals; and successfully delivered a connected 360-brand campaign with TV, radio, digital, and social execution during the height of the pandemic. Despite fast timelines, every decision was carefully considered, and included extensive consumer testing with a focus on striking the right tone. The approach continuously evolved, as the pandemic unfolded, yet kept the best interest of public health as the north star.

Since then, she’s shifted her focus to Pfizer’s next-generation pneumococcal vaccine, which was recently approved for adults in June 2021.

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