Allergan elevator depicts bipolar symptoms in brand-new Vraylar ad campaign

Allergan continues its successful DTC strategy for Vraylar with a new campaign that adds its expanded indication for bipolar depression. (Allergan)

Allergan depicts the ups and downs of bipolar disorder with an elevator metaphor in its newest Vraylar ad campaign. The campaign comes on the heels of the antipsychotic drug’s expanded approval for bipolar depression, adding the indication to Vraylar’s manic episode treatment approval in the DTC work.

The new TV ad features a woman who steps onto an elevator and presses one button, but then the entire set of numbers starts lighting up randomly and the elevator plummets.

As the elevator continues to move up and down, the doors open to different scenes—the woman crying as she sits on the edge of a bed, the woman shouting and arguing with a man and the woman quietly crying as she shops.

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The voice-over points out that Vraylar now treats the “full spectrum” of bipolar 1 symptoms of “depression, acute manic and mixed episodes.” The ad will run across network and cable stations and can also be seen on the drug's website.

Allergan got the elevator idea from patients themselves, who described the symptoms of bipolar disorder as feeling like riding up and down in an elevator when all they want is to stay in the center, Aimee Lenar, Allergan’s vice president of gastrointestinal and central nervous system, said.

“We took that and used it as sort of the hook so that a patient actually watching the commercial could identify the scenes that they’re seeing and use that to take to their doctor and say ‘hey, that might be me,’” she said.

A second Vryalar TV ad is planned for October, and that one will use another metaphor for the uncertain push and pull of the bipolar spectrum of symptoms. Social media and digital placements will accompany the TV effort.

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Allergan has used DTC to promote Vraylar since last year, beginning then with its “House of Cards” campaign focused on the manic side of the bipolar condition. It’s been a successful strategy that Allergan plans to continue.

“Vraylar is probably the most responsive product that we have across our entire portfolio of all therapeutic areas to direct-to-consumer advertising. The response that we have to it is tremendous and it’s just a good use of resources and effort on our part from a marketing perspective that we’ll continue to do it,” Lenar said.

She defined “most responsive” broadly across measurements such as people talking to doctors, requesting information, product recall and increase in prescriptions.

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