Teva goes for laughs in new social media campaign for COPD

A screenshot from the promotional video for Teva's "#Laugh4Lungs" campaign--Courtesy of Teva

Teva ($TEVA) took on a social media shoutout as part of its latest educational push for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, kicking off a campaign called "#Laugh4Lungs" to get the word out about the disease and spur some healthy chuckles along the way.

The company touted "the power of laughter" to raise awareness and money for COPD on social media channels on Nov. 18, or World COPD Day, it said in a statement. Teva encouraged people to share videos of themselves or someone else laughing with the hashtag #Laugh4Lungs, and tag or nominate other people from their social networks. Participants could also donate money through the campaign's website, and Teva plans to send the funds collected to three European COPD charities.

More than 200 million people worldwide have COPD, and Teva believes that "it is important to increase global awareness of this debilitating disease," Luca Frangoni, head of Teva Europe's respiratory unit, said in a statement.

"With #Laugh4Lungs we have chosen laughter as the vehicle to promote awareness of COPD because it's a universal language that transcends between all ages and is beneficial for lung function and overall well-being," Frangoni said.

Documentary filmmaker Harry Hitchens talks about Teva's COPD campaign in the promo video.--Courtesy of Teva

In a promo video for the campaign, people hold up flashcards that share facts about COPD. Then, a clip of a laughing baby pops up on the screen. The video continues by interspersing handwritten factoids about COPD with videos of cartoons and real-life people laughing.

Toward the end of the video, documentary filmmaker Harry Hitchens talks up the campaign. "We all love to laugh and chances are, you know someone who is affected (by COPD)," Hitchens said in the video.

The campaign comes as Teva amps up its respiratory efforts to compete with the likes of GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK) and AstraZeneca ($AZN). Last month, the company snatched up "smart" inhaler company Gecko Health Solutions to get its hands on Gecko's CareTRx platform for chronic respiratory disease management. The tool includes remote monitoring and real-time adherence features that allow patients, caregivers and doctors to stay connected.

"The technology and expertise gained as a result of this acquisition provide Teva with a solid platform to develop and deliver truly patient-centered solutions by utilizing eConnected, data-driven technology to improve the management of respiratory diseases," Teva said at the time.

- read the statement
- watch the campaign video here

Special Reports: The top 15 pharma companies by 2014 revenue - Teva | Top 20 generics companies by 2014 revenue - Teva