Bristol-Myers' new Opdivo spot asks, 'Who wouldn't want a chance to live longer?'

Opdivo
Bristol-Myers Squibb has launched a third ad for Opdivo that continues its "longer life" theme.

Bristol-Myers Squibb’s new Opdivo TV ad continues its “longer life” theme but adds questions and imagery that establish a more emotional tone than its previous work does.

The ad opens with the same extended qualifying parameters about the particular non-small cell lung cancer patients that may use the drug, but then asks, “Who wouldn’t want a chance for another …” leaving the question hanging while on-screen a young girl runs into the arms of an older woman for a hug. The next (rhetorical) question follows: “Who wouldn’t want a chance to live longer?”

“We updated the commercial to highlight potential life events that may be possible for some patients who receive treatment with Opdivo, and include new information about the number of patients that have been prescribed Opdivo, which patients find meaningful,” a Bristol-Myers Squibb spokeswoman said in an email.

The ad does note that Opdivo has demonstrated longer life versus chemotherapy and adds that 40,000 patients have been prescribed Opdivo. The new Opdivo ad has only spent a little over $1 million on national TV media since it began airing in the last week of May, according to data from real-time TV ad tracker iSpot.tv. Similar creative will also run in print and digital ads, the spokeswoman said.

This is the third national TV ad for Opdivo, which began its mainstream bid on the airwaves in the fall of 2015. The ad campaign has attracted some criticism, however, most notably last summer after a New York Times op-ed, and then two oncologists writing in the Journal of the American Medical Association, disputed the value of the DTC cancer advertising.

Opdivo faces both internal challenges and an intensely competitive market in lung cancer treatments. It failed to garner a first-line nod as a monotherapy for lung cancer last year, and then earlier this year, BMS dropped a chance at an accelerated filing for Opdivo and fellow immunotherapy Yervoy in the same setting.

Meanwhile, key competitor Merck has already snagged two coveted first-line lung cancer approvals for its entrant, Keytruda, one as a monotherapy and one in tandem with chemo.