Bayer pairs its products in first-ever portfolio TV ad for hormone-releasing IUDs

Bayer's new IUD brand and education campaign for Mirena and Kyleena features a woman with her wilted plant noting she's not ready to get pregnant. (Bayer)

Bayer is taking on myths about intrauterine devices (IUDs) in a new two-product ad campaign. The first-ever campaign featuring both the Mirena and Kyleena branded IUDs recently began as Bayer looks to not only explain what the levonorgestrel-releasing IUDs do but also impart basic knowledge about IUDs.

That’s because myths continue to persist around the devices. Bayer research found that some women didn’t know where IUDs are placed, how big they are or that they can be easily inserted or removed at an in-office visit. The TV ad addresses those misconceptions directly, showing a doctor’s hand holding one of the small 1-inch-long devices and later an illustration of a uterus with an IUD inside. The voiceover also notes that a doctor can place an IUD in just a few minutes and remove it at any time.

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Two women in the ad exemplify the target audiences for Bayer—one with a child and one without. The TV ad uses a wry humor approach, with the single woman opening the ad holding a wilted plant and saying, “If you’re like me, you can barely take care of a plant, so you’re probably not ready to get pregnant now.” While the other woman, a mother, picks up toys while her little one jumps on the bed, the voiceover notes that an IUD “requires less attention than a toddler.”

“Whether it’s about Mirena or Kyleena, women have the same barriers, if you will, to considering an IUD,” Lesa Henry, Bayer VP of marketing for women’s care, said. “… Medical organizations like ACOG and the CDC recommend IUDs and other long-acting reversible contraception as first-line contraceptive options for most women. Yet we find the majority of women (80%) default to taking the pill.”

The idea behind the campaign is to normalize IUDs as a long-term alternative to methods that include a higher degree of user involvement such as the pill, injection or a contraceptive ring, she said. The ads will also include a link to pricing information for Kyleena and Mirena by early spring, as Bayer begins to add cost information online as agreed to by PhRMA members last October. The wholesale acquisition cost for the two IUDs is $953, Henry said, which will be included on the website, along with expected insurance costs and patient assistance information.

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Bayer introduced Mirena 17 years ago, while Kyleena is newer at just two years on the market. Both are low-dose hormone-releasing IUDs at different levels and at slightly different sizes. Mirena is meant for women who’ve already had children, while Kyleena is for women who’ve never had children, Henry said.

The campaign includes TV, print, digital and social media. The TV ad will initially run on cable channels such as Bravo and HGTV, but it will include network buys later in the spring.

“The hope is, and we learned this in our research, is that when women feel more knowledgeable on this subject, the more likely they are to be more proactive in their conversations and less likely to just tell their HCP" that everything "is running just fine,” Henry said.