Henry the Porcupine for Fluzone - Sanofi Pasteur

Character: Henry the Porcupine for Fluzone
Company: Sanofi Pasteur

In 2012, Sanofi ($SNY) wanted to introduce consumers to its new delivery method for its Fluzone vaccine that used a much smaller intradermal needle. Although its target group was adults ages 18 to 64, who statistically skewed lower than children or the elderly for getting the yearly vaccination, the company decided on an adorable anthropomorphic character named Henry the Porcupine.

The quill-laden critter, sporting a snappy red power tie, starred in TV, print and digital campaigns with the tagline "Tiny Needle. Big Protection." In the TV ad, Henry strides around town after auditioning for the Fluzone role, stopping at a barber shop for his own 90% reduction in needle size.

"At the time, there was virtually no awareness of the intradermal vaccination. The campaign was a dramatization of what a 90% smaller needle looks like, brought to life by Henry the Porcupine, who sees himself as the 'spokes' person for the brand," a Sanofi spokesperson said to FiercePharmaMarketing via email.

At the time of the launch, Sanofi executives told Medical Marketing & Media that the company's research found that "a smaller needle can result in a better shot experience." More than half of vaccinated consumers in Sanofi's survey said their experience would be better with a smaller needle, and 65% said access to the shot would be more convenient.

The one-season prickly wonder still seemed to make an impression on consumers. In a follow-up MM&M story, Sanofi said the campaign reached more than 161 million consumers and achieved an awareness rate of 45%. About 40% of the people who saw the ads felt there was a better flu shot experience available, and 46% of them initiated a conversation about the flu with a healthcare provider prompted by the TV commercial. -- Beth Snyder Bulik

- read the MM&M story and follow up

For more:
Sanofi reports positive results with Fluzone intradermal

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