Lumenis taps 'This Is Us' star Mandy Moore for first dry eye DTC campaign

You’ll likely be hard-pressed to find a dry eye among “This Is Us” fans when the hit TV drama, famous for making viewers cry, airs its final episode later this year. But dry eyes were a constant frustration for Mandy Moore, who plays Pearson family matriarch Rebecca on the popular NBC series.

As the first celebrity spokeswoman for Lumenis’ newly launched dry eye treatment OptiLight, the actress and singer says before she was diagnosed, she never knew her frequently gritty, tired, itchy eyes were caused by a medical condition with a name: dry eye disease.

In the company's first DTC commercial, which debuted Feb. 8, she tells people they "don't need to live with it." Sitting on a couch in a bright, airy living room, Moore says she’s part of the “there’s-no-way-I’m-gonna-live-with-that generation” and compares dry eyes to other nuisances shunned by her age group, like wearing high heels “everywhere we go” or continuing to watch a lousy movie. 

“When there’s a problem, we find a solution,” she says in the 50-second spot.

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Lumenis, of course, wants that solution to be OptiLight, which it touts as the first and only light-based therapy for dry eye. The disease is usually treated with daily eye drops such as Novartis’ Xiidra, AbbVie's Restasis or Sun Pharma's Cequa, all of which have rolled out new TV commercials of their own during the pandemic, as increased screen time put more demand on patients' eyes.

The OptiLight procedure, which won FDA approval last April, uses a device to apply pulses of light to the skin just below the eyes, targeting the underlying inflammation that causes the disease. Patients typically undergo four 10- to 15-minute office treatments along with maintenance sessions once or twice a year. The procedure is meant to be used in addition to other treatments, including artificial tears, but aims to lessen dependence on eye drops, according to the company.

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As a relatable and likeable celebrity who also suffers from dry eyes, Moore is the perfect ambassador for OptiLight, said Itay Mayer, vice president and managing director of the Israel-based company's vision division. He said she had the treatment done after the company reached out and introduced her to the technology. 

“So many people are unaware this disease even exists,” said Mayer. “Mandy was one of those people and now, after the treatment, she feels much, much better." 

While dry eye disease was once associated with older women, the market is skewing younger and including more men now that people are spending longer hours staring at screens, according to the company. Lumenis hopes Moore will appeal to people in their 30s and up.

The ad will be seen in the U.S. market on social media, YouTube and Connected TV as well as in print magazines and digital publications like "Women’s Health" and "People." A dedicated website also offers a quiz people can take to see whether they have dry eye disease and a tool to find a doctor who administers the treatment.

Mayer said this is the first DTC campaign for the 50-year-old medical device company, the vision arm of which also makes laser technology to treat glaucoma and retinopathy. Lumenis sold its surgical laser division to Boston Scientific for $1.1 billion last year.