Bayer goes Glamour-ous with 'Girls' star for new IUD campaign

Zosia Mamet

Hey, young women: You have plans. Dreams. Goals. And by the way, getting pregnant unexpectedly could throw those visions for your future under the bus. That's the (implicit) message in several newly launched campaigns from Pfizer ($PFE) and Bayer Healthcare, including a pitch for Bayer's new device Skyla supported by a fellow millennial, the actress Zosia Mamet of "Girls" fame.

Bayer has teamed up with the women's magazine Glamour--and recruited the HBO series actress--for Skyla Make Your Mark, a contest to "celebrate the unique and brave things women are doing." Art, entrepreneurship, philanthropy, scholarship, research--heck, even mountain-climbing.

To enter, women submit essays and either photos or videos about the ways they're "making their mark," the company said in its announcement. Winners get a $5,000 grant and a trip to New York for the magazine's annual Women of the Year Gala. Skyla, of course, is one of Bayer's IUD brands.

Bayer's Timeline Project invites women to create their own lists of hopes and dreams--and set a schedule for reaching them--using stock images and suggested goals. The various timelines are visible on the campaign website,, so participants can check out other women's goals and deadlines. A quick click delivers advice for achieving each milestone.

One bit of that advice? Talk to your doctor about birth control options. Because as Bayer HealthCare pointed out in announcing the campaign, "Many of these life goals could be molded by how and when a woman's family unfolds." And Bayer offers a range of contraceptive options, of course, from IUDs and other implants to a plethora of birth control pill brands.

Meanwhile, Pfizer Canada is running the fifth iteration of its annual contest, Start Something with Alesse. Same sort of idea, but instead of marks already made, Pfizer is focusing on those yet to be. Young people are asked to submit their ideas for start-ups, for-profit and not. Winners will get $5,000 in funding and mentors to help them get going.

Targeted at millennials, the campaigns play to that generation's self-conception: Passionate and compassionate, motivated by a search for meaning rather than by money, ready to achieve big things despite their worries about paying off student loans, finding decent jobs, and living back home with their parents. "We all have stories and they all deserve to be heard," Mamet said of the Skyla contest.

A third Bayer effort, also in Canada, uses a more hard-news approach. A survey about birth control pill use found that one in three millennial women forget to take their pills at least once each cycle, despite using their phone alarms or apps to help them remember. Cue talk of Bayer's new intrauterine contraceptive Jaydess, a device that releases hormonal birth control over three years. Next cue: goal talk. Using the device "means that women can focus on achieving their goal without the stress of an unplanned pregnancy," Dr. Christine Palmay, Bayer's spokesperson on the effort, timed to coincide with Friday's World Contraceptive Day.

- read the Skyla release from Bayer
- get the Pfizer Canada announcement
- see Bayer's survey results
- check out the Timeline Project release

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