Amgen, AstraZeneca focus on asthmatic punk rocker to show how Tezspire can unleash lust for life

Amgen and AstraZeneca are returning to the TV party to show how Tezspire can help punks with a lust for life rise above their asthma symptoms and take complete control of their lives.

The new TV spot builds on the first ad the partners ran for Tezspire last year. In the first TV ad, Amgen and AstraZeneca introduced viewers to a diverse cast of cartoon characters including a cat-loving punk rocker, an older Black female race car driver, a hipster ice sculptor and a wood chopping mom. The diversity played to Tezspire’s ability to treat different types of asthma.

Now, Amgen and AstraZeneca are re-upping the ad for Asthma Peak Week, the period that traditionally sees the most asthma attacks. The new ad reuses elements of the old spot but also adds more meat to the backstory of Hawk, the punk rocker. 

Amgen and AstraZeneca created fuller narratives for all the characters but found Hawk’s story resonated the most. Kristin Layton, consumer marketing director, respiratory, Amgen, said “overwhelmingly Hawk’s character was the most relevant,” both because of how Tezspire enabled him to overcome his asthma to live his “personal passion of being part of a band” and because of the relatability of his triggers.

The TV spot starts with a shot of Hawk, with a mohawk and full punk rock regalia, singing in his band. But, as the voice-over explains how it can be tough to be yourself when you have severe asthma, the ad cuts to a younger Hawk practicing with his bandmates in a garage, wheezing and unable to sing. We then see Hawk saying no to band practice because of asthma and staying in alone. 

Tezspire comes to the rescue. As the voice-over says “Tezspire can help you, be you,” we cut back to Hawk playing a live show with his band, Mare Cats, and singing unencumbered by his asthma. The story speaks to how “patients tend to normalize their disease,” Caty Smith, executive marketing director, Tezspire at AstraZeneca, said, because Hawk had to “modify his expectations and what he really wants to do.” 

The TV spot, which goes on to reuse sections on other characters from the old ad, is part of a broader campaign. Amgen and AstraZeneca are using the narratives they fleshed out for the other characters on the Tezspire website, introducing a new asthma specialist character, partnering with influencers and running online ads as part of a multifront, branded and unbranded push. 

Amgen reported Tezspire sales of $133 million in the second quarter, a 39% jump over revenues in the first three months of the year. The growth comes as the partners work to leverage Tezspire’s advantages over Dupixent, notably a broader label that covers asthma patients with low eosinophil levels, to deliver on blockbuster expectations.