Merck’s latest contraception awareness campaign encourages women to live life’s adventures, with an eye toward birth control options that allow them to do so. And the company is spotlighting a group of five women who are doing just that.
Mandy Moore, who stars in the current hit TV show “This is Us,” headlines a group whose stories Merck is sharing online at “Her Life. Her Adventures.” The other women involved include a dentist who’s also a travel enthusiast, a professional rockclimber, an online clothing designer and a fashion entrepreneur who’s also a mom blogger.
The campaign encourages women to get involved online by sharing their own life adventures and offering information and tips, and the New Jersey drugmaker also offers up links that take users to Merck’s Nexplanon birth control implant website. Nexplanon and its first-generation sibling Implanon generated sales of $606 million in 2016, up from $588 million in 2015. The product won FDA approval in 2011.
This is Merck’s second contraception awareness campaign, a spokeswoman said via email, following up on its 2014 “Plan It Forward” effort that encouraged young women to map out their futures, including considering how family planning and contraception fit into those plans.
As part of the campaign, Merck commissioned a study of adult women to find out more about their priorities and life goals. Financial stability, emotional development, relationship security and career growth were the top four priorities above 80% of those surveyed. Starting or growing a family was only named by 40% of those without children and 39% of those with children. The study also found that 67% of respondents were interested in learning more about birth control options from their healthcare providers.
“We felt that this was the right time to create a new program ... because still nearly half (in 2011) of pregnancies are unplanned oftentimes due to incorrect or inconsistent use of birth control," the Merck spokeswoman said. "Additionally, there are so many contraceptive options right now, including reversible daily, nondaily and longer-term options, and many women do not know the questions to ask with their doctor,” she added.
Merck chose Moore because of her passion for women’s health and her current role on TV; she plays Rebecca Pearson, a wife and mother of triplets who also juggles a singing career.
The online, social and public relations effort had Moore hitting the media circuit in support, garnering articles and coverage in outlets including People, Shape, Glamour, NBC’s Today Show and CBS News.