Afraid of aging? Pfizer's revamped 'Get old' campaign wants you

Image from Pfizer's "Get Old" ad campaign--Courtesy of Pfizer

Face your fears. That's Pfizer's motto with its "Get Old" campaign, and the company is mounting a new push to get people talking about their fear of aging. On social media, no less, with a special #FOGO hashtag and a new digital advertising agency.

That's Fear of Getting Old, in case you didn't pick that up already. Pfizer ($PFE) is adding new content to its Get Old launching a Twitter and Facebook campaign to spread the word, too, The New York Times reports. Its new agency, Huge, will create and produce the new content.

Pfizer's premise is borrowed from FDR's first inaugural address: The only thing to fear is fear itself. In fact, as the NYT notes, one of Pfizer's campaign messages is "Fear less. Live longer." Another: "It's time to tell the truth about aging. The less you fear it, the more you'll enjoy it."

Pfizer's intended audience isn't just the middle-aged, but 20- and 30-somethings, too. Hence the #FOGO hashtag--which fits into the younger generation's affinity for acronyms on social media.

Of course, the company's other premise is that the #FOGO campaign will spread goodwill toward Pfizer. The company's own research showed that consumers who visited went away with a 55-percentage-point improvement in their perceptions of the company.

That's something of a vindication for Pfizer EVP Sally Susman, who masterminded the Get Old push back in 2012, with agency SS+K. At the time, some folks within the company were skeptical of a bold-faced, reality-based campaign about fear and trouble. But Susman felt that Pfizer needed to show it would take the conversation seriously, "not [cover] it in flowers and butterflies," she told AdWeek then.

The latest Get Old iteration will add some humor into the mix, Susman tells the Times, "which will be a new and dynamic part of this campaign." As Huge's Kate Watts puts it, it's about "addressing the fears you have in a way to make you feel less fearful, using wit and humor to make somewhat of a taboo topic more approachable."

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