Never too old to be young, Pfizer says, with new tack on Get Old campaign

Pfizer's ($PFE) "Get Old" campaign is going in a new direction. The drugmaker's counterintuitive--yet quite successful--aging campaign celebrates turning four with a new look and attitude built around commencing, appropriately timed to the new-graduate season. And it already has older folks taking selfies on the streets of New York.

Images of Pfizer's "Get Old" campaign

"Get Ready, Get Set, Get Old" is ditching last year's fear of getting old (#FOGO) theme for new beginnings. The launch video centers on a Class of 2015 commencement address, unfolding to show an older woman selling her house and celebrating with friends, and a mature couple on a hike in which the man stops to propose, with the final reveal cutting to a salt-and-pepper-haired graduation speaker.

Pfizer's midtown Manhattan headquarters, newly adorned with images from its latest campaign, has drawn selfie-snappers since last week's launch. The photo-worthy images include two well-dressed men in their 50s enjoying lunch tagged "First Date," a man in his 40s at college tagged "Freshman" and an older man floating on an inner tube tagged "Spring Break." The campaign was created by digital ad agency Huge.

"Get Old is not only about older people, it's about all the turnstiles of life that people go through," said Sally Susman, exec VP of corporate affairs at Pfizer, in an interview with FiercePharmaMarketing. "This idea is about encouraging people to do things, to take healthy steps, to connect with other people, to try something new. That's the new element we've added and we'll be working with our 20 partners and 230,000 community members to think about trying things."

They'll look to challenge the ongoing bias toward youth as the best time of a person's life. In recent research conducted by Harris Poll for Pfizer, a majority of Americans surveyed believe that key life experiences like getting married, being a parent or getting a college degree are best done before age 40; however, sentiments vary by age. For instance, 95% of millennials said the best time to get married is under 40, but only 65% of Gen Xers and 57% of baby boomers agreed.

The digital-first campaign began in 2012, growing out one of the objectives then-new CEO Ian Read laid out to "be respected." Susman's corporate affairs department was given oversight, and free rein. "Get Old" has not only grown to an almost quarter-million-member community since then, but has succeeded in helping to boost its brand. In before-and-after testing of the Get Old campaign on its website, favorability toward Pfizer rose an average of 50% or more.

- read the Pfizer release

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