Takeda launches new DTC campaign for renamed depression med Trintellix

What’s in a new name? For a Takeda and Lundbeck antidepressant, new marketing work.

After renaming the med for sale in the U.S. in June--a move to avoid confusion with AstraZeneca blood thinner Brilinta--Takeda in mid-July launched a new multimedia campaign for the brand.

The TV, digital, in-office TV and print campaign isn't all new, though: It continues the same “Tangles” concept Takeda used when the med was named Brintellix. The multi-colored "tangles" pictured in the advertising represent the multiple symptoms of major depressive disorder that go beyond simply being sad.

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“Since launch, we’ve developed great real-world experience with Trintellix among healthcare professionals. … So now we’re elevating patient awareness to support their dialogue with healthcare professionals about Trintellix as a possible solution to help untangle their multiple symptoms of depression," Takeda told FiercePharmaMarketing via email.

The TV creative comes in two similar but distinct versions, one with a female lead and the other with a male lead. “While two-thirds of depression patients are female, there’s still a sizable proportion that are male. We included both perspectives to represent and best communicate to all patients,” Takeda noted.

Meanwhile, Takeda is also running an unbranded disease awareness campaign about depression at www.lighterblue.com and on Facebook. The work highlights the variety of symptoms depression can cause and includes patient and family stories.

Takeda's marketing task with Trintellix is formidable. Brintellix had sales of about $94 million in 2015, up from $28 million in 2014, but that haul is still far short of the two companies’ initial long-term projection of $2 billion in annual sales. And the renamed Trintellix still faces considerable competition in the depression treatment category, especially now that popular meds such as Pfizer's Zoloft, Eli Lilly's Prozac and GlaxoSmithKline's Paxil are now available in cheap generic versions--and payers are requiring the use of older, less expensive meds first.

- watch the TV ads
- read the name change news

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