2 ads for 2 audiences: SK Life targets docs and patients in seizure drug campaign

SK Life Science is taking a two-is-better-than-one approach to reach both physicians and patients in its new DTC campaign for anti-seizure drug Xcopri.

Its targeted TV ad campaign includes one creative strategy for patients and another for healthcare providers. The patient TV ad, for instance, encourages people to look for better seizure control. It features a patient who has used multiple medications and is now "fighting for the possibility of control over his seizures."

Meanwhile, the physician commercial advocates empathy with patients, asking “Do you think occasional seizures are acceptable? What would your patients say?”

Each ad calls out separate patient and physician-focused websites—Xcopri.com and XcopriHCP.com, respectively.

With the use of connected TV and customized media targeting, SK Life is aiming to reach each audience directly through their smart TVs and on streaming platforms such as Apple TV and Roku.

The commercials are more cost-effective, with strategic media buys to the specific audiences versus shelling out for expanded, but also more expensive, mainstream broadcast TV.

RELATED: SK Life Science debuts Xcopri virtual effort for HCPs to empathize with seizure patients' experiences

“Directed TV is an avenue particularly well-suited for our situation because we have the ability to target very specifically who we’re trying to reach with our message rather than just going on regular broad-based TV,” said Gary Ball, SK Life’s executive director of marketing.

More than 3.5 million people in the U.S. have epilepsy, and an estimated 60% still have seizures even when taking one or more seizure medicines. Those are the patients and their healthcare providers whom SK is hoping to reach with the new campaign.

The two campaigns work in conjunction with “a similar message just communicated in two different ways,” Ball said.

For patients, SK Life's message is that no matter how many epilepsy medications they may have tried, Xcopri is a new option to potentially get to zero seizures. One in five patients in Xcopri’s clinical trial reached that threshold, Ball said.

Meanwhile, the healthcare provider message reminds doctors that some of their epilepsy patients’ seizures are not as well controlled as they could be, and Xcopri is a potential new option for them, he said.

RELATED: SK Life Science plots 2020 launch for now-approved seizure drug Xcopri

Connected TV advertising—or streaming video ads on smart TVs, mobile devices and computers—is a growing medium for marketers. Emarketer estimates that advertisers spent $8.1 billion on connected TV ads in 2020, but expects that to balloon to $11.4 billion in 2021. YouTube, Hulu and Roku account for about half of connected TV advertising, the consultancy says.

The streaming TV audience is growing as well with studies predicting more than 80% of U.S. households will use connected TV by 2023.

For SK Life, the connected TV ads—which it plans to run through the end of the year—are just one part of its multichannel strategy for Xcopri. While the company had been investigating alternative non-personal channels, the pandemic accelerated omnichannel adoption when sales field teams were suddenly shut out of in-person visits, Ball said.

Xcopri was approved as a treatment for partial-onset seizures in late 2019 and launched in May 2020.

“I don’t have a crystal ball, so I can’t sit here and say things won’t go back to 100% normal, but I’m doubtful that they will." Ball said. "Being able to get your message to different audiences, whether providers or patients, is going to continue to be challenging."