Astellas goes 'Dancing with the Stars' for new Myrbetriq promotion

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Astellas is Dancing with the Stars in its latest promotional campaign for Myrbetriq that features former show contestant actress Lea Thompson.

It’s dance time for Astellas’ new ad campaign. The company has partnered up with the ABC show “Dancing with the Stars” and actress and former contestant Lea Thompson for its new promotion. The event, sponsored by overactive-bladder drug Myrbetriq, centers on the chance to win a trip to Los Angeles for a taping of the show.

Two TV ads, one running for 15 seconds and another for 30 seconds, feature Thompson talking about how she rediscovered her love of dancing. She encouraged viewers to enter for a chance to win the trip.

Thompson doesn’t mention Myrbetriq, but the brand name is shown in the lower right corner for most of the ad, and a voiceover notes at the end of the spot that the promotion is “sponsored by Myrbetriq.” "Dancing with the Stars" professional dancer Tony Dovolani also stars in the ads, which will run exclusively on ABC programming.

“We are always looking for new and innovative ways to help build awareness and engagement for patients who might benefit from our products,” John Colucci, assistant director of urology marketing at Astellas, said in an email interview, adding that "Dancing with the Stars" was chosen specifically to build awareness “due to how strongly it resonates with our core audience.”

That audience is women between the ages 35 and 65 who have symptoms of overactive bladder. To help those women relate, Astellas created an animated bladder spokescharacter that in each of its commercials tugs at women's hands to go to the bathroom, disrupting what they're doing and pulling them away from a variety of activities. Myrbetriq debuted the animated bladder in its first DTC ad campaign for the drug in 2014; the drug was approved by the FDA in 2012. The new campaign will include Myrbetriq-branded TV spots with that familiar spokescharacter, along with the Thompson ads, set to run during "Dancing with the Stars."

Astellas has done two similar promotions with ABC in the past that have been "very successful," Colucci said, adding that "Given the nature of the property, we anticipate our tie-in with 'Dancing with the Stars' will perform at least the same if not stronger than our previous efforts." Those previous efforts include a 2016 campaign built around the promotion of a chance to win a trip to the Country Music Awards and TV ads and featuring popular country singer Sara Evans.