Roche celebrates 5 years of Ocrevus with a push en Español

Roche’s Genentech continues its commitment to the Hispanic/Latinx multiple sclerosis community by launching its latest ads for two-times-a-year MS med, Ocrevus, in both Spanish and English.

The new campaign, “More Progress, Less Progression” or “Más Progreso, Menos Progresión” encourages people with MS to take steps by talking to their doctor about starting treatment as early as possible to delay disability progression. 

The Spanish-language spot is no half-hearted attempt to court the Hispanic/Latinx community. The push is an important part of Genentech’s plans and goals for Ocrevus and this group who unfortunately often have to deal with obstacles to care and may experience a quicker progression and more severe symptoms than their Caucasian counterparts.

In addition to the language, the Spanish version features more of Ocrevus’ Hispanic and Latinx ambassadors—actual Ocrevus users.

“It's important to recognize that the people in our videos are actually our ambassadors and they have experienced being on Ocrevus. This is really an opportunity for us to connect more authentically with that community,” Jennifer Kim, vice president and head of neuroimmunology at Genentech marketing, said in an interview. 

“And of course, the other piece is an English to Spanish translation isn't necessarily a word for word translation. I think we're being really thoughtful about the words that we use and how they resonate with the Hispanic/Latinx community. So it's clear to them we are providing that education and that kind of connection.”

The pharma undertook extensive research and worked with professionals and members of the Hispanic/Latinx advocacy groups to properly address the population. Kim emphasizes that Spanish speakers are not homogenous; there are different countries of origin and different characteristics within each community.

The marketing plan is an omnichannel approach with the television spots airing online as well as via streaming and digital channels. The goal is to meet people with information where they receive it. Kim calls it a “broad but targeted approach.” Genentech is also working with the usual suspects of physicians, advocacy groups and its broader ambassador community.

While this is the first big push in Spanish, Genentech has been addressing the Hispanic and Latin community in the past and working its way up to this point.

“You can clearly see the evolution of where we're going. We're not stopping until we get to a place where there is health equity regardless of ethnic background, and (people) able to receive higher efficacy therapies earlier in the course of diseases; we're going to continue our efforts,” Kim said.

Blockbuster Ocrevus is celebrating five years of FDA approval as the first B-cell therapy. It’s the U.S. leader in prescription MS medicine for patients beginning therapy as well as those switching from a previous drug. It earned $5.1 billion last year with FDA approvals for both relapsing and primary progressive types of multiple sclerosis.