Intra-Cellular pushes back on stereotypes in first DTC campaign for schizophrenia treatment Caplyta

Intra-Cellular Caplyta still image from DTC TV ad
Intra-Cellular's first DTC TV ad for schizophrenia treatment Caplyta (still image above) highlights everyday successes for patients. (Intra-Cellular)

Intra-Cellular Therapies knows that it’s the little things that matter for people living with schizophrenia.

Its first DTC campaign for once-a-day antipsychotic Caplyta features people going about a seemingly mundane day. A voiceover says, “It’s in the small everyday moments, and in the places you’d never expect. … Once these little moments start adding up, that’s when it feels like so much more—it feels like real progress.”

While most people might take daily activities for granted, those activities "are so important to people with schizophrenia," Intra-Cellular VP of Marketing Debra Marchese said. "... For people with schizophrenia it’s progress for them to have a good day, it’s progress and hopeful for their families."

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Another goal of the DTC campaign was to avoid stereotypes or frightening depictions of schizophrenia and instead lean into patients’ real experiences.

The commercial opens with a gently boiling kettle calling to mind a calming cup of tea. The softly lit ad, filled with family moments, focuses on the positive outcomes possible for those dealing with the mental health issue.

Filming during the COVID-19 pandemic presented unique challenges for the commercial, Marchese said. To minimize potential viral exposure, Intra-Cellular hired not only the actors hired to portray the people with schizophrenia, but also their real families for the scenes. The on-site crew consisted of one camera person and one wardrobe person, with everyone else remote.

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Along with the national TV ad, promotions include social media ads on Facebook and Instagram and a partnership with online mental healthcare provider e-psychatry.com linked on the drug’s website.

Caplyta’s FDA approval in December came after a long road that included a canceled advisory committee meeting and a three-month review extension.

Now, the first campaign for the drug comes as Intra-Ceullar pursues an expanded label for Caplyta. The company reported last week positive phase 3 data that showed Caplyta, along with lithium or valproate, led to significant improvement in depression over placebo in patients with bipolar disorder. Intra-Cellular plans to file for the expanded label late this year or in early 2021.