It wasn’t all that long ago that Allergan unveiled a purple-haired, fashion-forward cartoon as the face of its birth control awareness efforts. With its latest campaign, though, it’s going a little more ... human.
The pharma has partnered with Saturday Night Live veteran and Emmy-nominated actress Vanessa Bayer, along with OB/GYN and women’s health expert Jessica Shepherd, to launch “Know Your Birth Control,” a digital campaign that “aims to showcase the many misconceptions" about oral contraceptives and offer some accurate information to counteract them, Allergan said.
The rollout includes two video series: In one, Bayer hits the streets of New York to see whether passersby can answer her birth control questions; in another, Shepherd reviews facts and FAQs about oral contraception.
In Bayer’s videos, she hits women with questions including, “What do you think is the most popular form of contraception in the U.S.?” and “Why is ‘the pill’ called ‘the pill?’” interspersed with inquiries such as, “Do you think that I was popular growing up?”
When passersby miss the mark—“I feel like if you miss it, it’s fine,” one woman says when asked whether birth control pills should be taken at the same time every day—Bayer sets them straight.
“They’re like snowflakes of estrogen, right? Cause no snowflake is the same. That was actually a pretty good metaphor that I used,” she says after noting that there are 35 different formulations of the pill.
Shepherd’s videos are more straightforward, answering questions such as, “Does the pill start working right away?” and “If there is spotting, does that mean the pill isn’t working?”
A third, extended-length video with Shepherd is dedicated solely to Lo Loestrin Fe, an Allergan product that Shepherd notes is “the No. 1 most prescribed birth control pill by OB/GYNs,” with no generic equivalent and the lowest daily dose of estrogen available on the market.
It’s not the first campaign Allergan has devoted to birth control facts. Back in 2015, it unveiled #ActuallySheCan, whose millennial spokescharacter, Violet, doled out info, emojis and hashtags.
Meanwhile, Bayer joins an ever-growing list of Allergan celebrity partners. Last month, the company snagged "Gilmore Girls" and "This is Us" star Milo Ventimiglia, Chicago Bears wide receiver Victor Cruz and actress Alexandra Daddario to promote its preventable blindness initiative, which rapper Common was already backing.
Earlier in the year, celebrities such as TV host Melissa Rivers and reality star Bethenny Frankel got behind the company’s other ongoing eye campaign, the dry eye awareness push Eyepowerment, by encouraging their Twitter followers to tweet eye selfies.