SK Life Science's newest digital campaign enlists a professional golfer, a surfer, a football player and a community advocate who have one thing in common. Actually, make that three things. They all have epilepsy, achieved success in their respective fields and are now social media influencers.
The four Steps Toward Zero champions are speaking out as part of SK Life’s campaign, doing print and TV media interviews and posting on social media to encourage people with epilepsy to think about a plan to get to zero seizures.
On Instagram, for instance, each one shared what zero seizures means to them and asked others to share their stories. For Alan Faneca, a former NFL star who will be inducted into the Hall of Fame on Sunday, “it means never accepting where you are in your epilepsy journey is final.”
In the first week, they’ve also done 15 to 20 major media interviews talking about the zero seizures goal, Gary Ball, SK Life’s VP of sales and marketing, said.
The campaign was born out of SK Life research that found patients aren’t totally honest about their seizures when talking to healthcare professionals.
Whether they “forget” how many seizures they’ve had between visits or downplay the severity, so they won’t lose their driver’s license or even a job, patients need a nudge to start better conversations with their doctors, W. Jason Griffith, SK’s senior product manager of patient marketing, said.
SK’s hope is that the successful spokespeople, who are all passionate about epilepsy, demonstrate to epilepsy patients that there are people just like them willing to speak up.
SK Life’s anti-seizure med Xcopri, approved in late 2019 and launched in May 2020, has several other marketing efforts rolling, including a dual-message branded campaign begun in the spring to speak to both physicians and patients.
Ball said it’s important to try to stimulate doctor-patient conversations, because “it’s really easy to get to the point where people say ‘I made progress I should be satisfied.’ We believe no one should be satisfied until they get to zero seizures,” or at least try to get there.
That’s in part because the up to 40% of patients who continue to have seizures after treatment have more options today, which of course includes Xcopri.
“We’ve seen an explosion of new anti-seizure medicines coming into the marketplace, which is a great thing,” Ball said. “Every new option means more patients have the potential to get their seizures under control and maybe get to zero seizures.”