Insulet gives go-ahead for more TV ads, prepping for Omnipod 5 launch later this year

Insulet Omnipod insulin pump
As Insulet preps its automated insulin delivery system the Omnipod 5 for launch later this year, it will continue to drive awareness with TV ads. (Insulet)

Insulet's TV advertising for its Omnipod insulin pump began last year in a test run to gauge TV channel effectiveness for the brand. Now, seven commercials and almost $15 million later, the ads targeted at Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes patients are here to stay—at least through year-end.

Insulet CEO and President Shacey Petrovic confirmed the decision recently during the company's 2020 year-end earnings call, citing new insights and increased awareness of Omnipod as reasons to continue the ads.

"The reaction to our [TV] pilot and the early read of key-leading indicators have been positive. So we've decided to continue advertising to support our efforts," she said.

Insulet began running commercials in September and has spent $14.7 million on national media since then, according to data from real-time TV tracker Core messages threading through the seven ads? Pump use means no more daily needles, and Insulet offers a 30-day free trial.

The DTC decision comes as Insulet readies the highly anticipated launch of its Omnipod 5 automatic insulin delivery device, which includes smartphone controls, in the first half of this year. The device removes the need for daily insulin injections for people living with Type 1 as well as insulin-dependent Type 2 diabetes.

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“We've heard from many (parents) about how much of a relief it is to have confidence in Omnipod 5 to control glucose and be able to periodically monitor their children in real-time," Petrovic said. "As a result, trial participants have told us that their families are finally sleeping and that they are better parents and spouses since starting on Omnipod 5.”

In fact, one of Insulet's most recent commercials takes that exact angle—in the ad, two parents check quietly on their sleeping daughter, who's wearing an Omnipod device.

Another scene from that commercial shows off the smartphone control for Omnipod. A young girl with an Omnipod visible on her leg happily blows bubbles while, across the yard, a woman looks at her phone and presses a button. The insulin "flow" is depicted as a glowing blue line that goes from phone to the pod on the little girl's leg. The little girl looks down briefly at the pod, but seems unbothered and continues playing with her bubbles.

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The Omnipod 5 works in conjunction with Dexcom's continuous glucose monitoring system, offering a level of insulin management and glucose control that has not been available before for people with diabetes, the company said.

The launch for Omnipod 5 was originally scheduled for late 2020. However, it was delayed after a software glitch caused Insulet to temporarily pause clinical trials, pushing back the launch. Current plans are to roll it out in the first half of this year for Android mobile phones. The Omnipod 5 includes a backup personal diabetes manager with SIM technology to ensure constant connectivity regardless of Wi-Fi availability.