6. Brand: Ozempic
Company: Novo Nordisk
What is it: GLP-1 diabetes biologic
2019 spend: $160.5 million
2018 spend: $85.4 million
It was all about the earworm jingle for Novo Nordisk and Ozempic. In its second year of DTC marketing for the Type 2 diabetes medicine, the Danish drugmaker went with a catchy take on ’70s tune “Magic” by Pilot. The song goes, “Oh, oh, oh, it’s magic,” while the TV advertising parrots, “Oh, oh, oh, Ozempic.”
Does its strategy work? Brands often choose songs from the ’70s and ’80s when targeting a specific group of older consumers who grew up on those songs, David Allan, Ph.D., a Saint Joseph’s University marketing professor and author specializing in music in commercials, said.
That strategy fits for Ozempic, a GLP-1 treatment. The average age of onset for Type 2 diabetes is 45 years, according to the American Diabetes Association.
Whether it works is likely more evident in the sales numbers. But Ozempic has that covered. The drug raked in $1.65 billion globally last year, a big leap from $264 million in its launch year, 2018.
In an interview with FiercePharma, Novo Nordisk CEO Lars Fruergaard Jørgensen said the company now holds 57% of new-to-brand market share in the GLP-1 class in the U.S., holding strong against competitors Eli Lilly’s Trulicity and its own brand Victoza.
The current DTC campaign began in 2018, but Novo kept the press on in 2019, adding three more TV commercials with the same song and theme as the drug quickly grew to blockbuster status.
However, Novo Nordisk didn’t only stick to tried-and-true TV and digital advertising for Ozempic last year. The drugmaker also created an online reality series tapping comedian Billy Gardell along with an “average” Type 2 diabetes patient, Jane, to chronicle their journey from first injection of Ozempic through exercise, diet and lifestyle changes over six months.