The average person doesn’t have a lot in common with Jennifer Aniston—her fame, her money, her looks (that hair!) However, there is one thing 25 million Americans do share with the A-lister—insomnia.
Idorsia has partnered with Aniston on a new unbranded educational campaign, “Seize the Night & Day” to raise awareness that insomnia is a real disorder needing real medical attention. The site focuses on the science behind insomnia, offers tips and tricks to help create a sleep routine and offers a forum to connect with others struggling with sleep.
Aniston, or rather, “Jen” as she’s referred to throughout, is featured heavily on the site with a 30-second spot and an unscripted, intimate chat, “Jen’s Sleep Story,” where she talks candidly about her struggles with sleep.
“What we really want to do is have people rethink sleep and get some new conversations ignited and with that, amplify our voice,” Vic Noble Idorsia’s head of consumer marketing, U.S. said. “It’s a great brand fit with Jennifer Aniston, known for health and wellness as well as a belief in good sleep.”
The spot, “Time is a Construct” is directed by Academy Award-winning director, writer and actor, Taika Waititi and features Aniston’s trademark relatability—she can’t sleep, she’s talking to herself about how much sleep she’ll get if she falls asleep right now, she’s tossing and turning, checking the clock, and distracted by random esoteric thoughts.
Finally, the alarm goes off and an exhausted Aniston is startled awake and faced with a calmer, fresher, rested version of herself sitting on the sofa. Rested Jen tells her, “Good days start with good nights, seems like a good time to find out about both.” Exhausted Jen looks at her puzzled, “Why are you talking like that? Is this an ad? Are we in an ad?”
Yes, Jen, you are, and there will be more that roll out under the “Seize the Night & Day” umbrella. There’s also a pretty full-on media push of digital, social, broadcast and omni-channel campaign. And why not? People love seeing Aniston on the small screen.
“She is highly relatable and very credible and she activates people. People listen to Jen, and there's a high tune-in factor,” Noble said.
And if the person in the campaign sounds like what you expect the real Jen Aniston to sound like, that’s because it is. Aniston had a seat at the table and plenty of input. “We wanted to do is make sure that her voice remained her voice, it was a true collaboration.”
With two A-list names involved, this has to be a big spend on an unbranded awareness campaign. Naturally, the team is coy about that amount, but it’s got to be big; even so, what a way to enter a market.
Idorsia is a relatively new player, a spinout from Big Pharma giant Johnson & Johnson's buyout of Actelion, and Quviviq (daridorexant),a sleeping pill for insomnia, is its first drug. The therapy was granted FDA approval this month, but because the FDA requested it be registered as a controlled substance, it won’t actually reach the market until May.
It's looking to rival Merck's Belsomra and Eisai's Dayvigo. With 25 million Americans affected by insomnia and only about 30% of them diagnosed, a huge untapped market awaits. But Idorsia has a big task ahead to distinguish Quviviq from Merck’s Belsomra in particular, which has been on the market for seven years, uses the same mechanism and has not had the most successful market.
Tapping Aniston is, however, a good first move in the marketing wars.