Otsuka, Lundbeck run CGI Abilify ad in promotional push for long-acting bipolar drug

Otsuka and Lundbeck want bipolar I patients to know longer-acting therapies can change their lives. The partners are spreading the message in a multichannel campaign that uses computer-generated imagery (CGI) to show how taking Abilify Asimtufii affected a patient’s summer.

The ad, which looks a little like a Pixar movie, opens with a shot of a Black woman sitting on a sofa. The woman receives an invite to a birthday party next week on her phone, looks anxious and hesitates when deciding whether to click accept or decline. In a voice-over, the woman explains the hesitation, saying “my bipolar I disorder symptoms were so unpredictable, committing to things could be hard.”

As the anxiety fades from the woman’s face, she says “now, with my symptoms stable, I feel like I can look ahead.” The woman accepts the invite and is next seen one week later, sitting happily with her friend as she blows out the candles on her birthday cake. 

The woman explains that she wants her stable symptoms to last. Ten days after the party, the woman is in a doctor’s office receiving a prescription for Abilify Asimtufii. The injectable is given every two months, unlike its once-monthly predecessor Abilify Maintena. 

Otsuka and Lundbeck use the rest of the TV spot to show the experiences the woman enjoyed in the two months after she visited her physician. In a series of scenes, each dated by a calendar entry, we see the woman cheering at a kid’s soccer game, attending a cooking class and sending a lunch invite. As the woman explains, “with my bipolar symptoms staying stable, I'm looking forward to what's ahead.”

The TV spot is part of a wider campaign covering digital and social media channels. Otsuka and Lundbeck have used the CGI characters from the TV ad in an Abilify Asimtufii brochure that continues the calendar theme. 

It is now more than one year since the FDA approved Abilify Asimtufii, and the impact of the launch has shown up in Lundbeck’s financial results. On an earnings call in May, Michala Fischer-Hansen, head of Europe and international markets at Lundbeck, said the above-market growth of the franchise in the U.S. in the first quarter was “basically driven by Abilify Asimtufii.”