The connection fans feel to celebrities is intensified when they speak about medical causes or products.
Medical issues are generally very personal and intimate. When a celebrity makes a move to promote a medical product or cause, they show their fans a level of trust and openness that fans often look for but do not always get.
Fans feel closer to the celebrity for sharing the news and have a higher respect for them and for the cause or product they are endorsing in light of it.
Fans that are affected by the same condition feel a special connection to the celebrity and have even more allegiance to what they have to say on the topic.
For these reasons, celebrity marketing in the healthcare industry is extremely successful and useful. Here are some of the most impactful uses of celebrity marketing in healthcare.
Abbvie, a biopharmaceutical company, partnered with Julianne Hough, an actress and professional dancer best known for her role on “Dancing with the Stars.”
In 2008 she revealed she has a medical condition called Endometriosis. The disease is estimated to affect 1 in 10 women but isn’t well known or easily diagnosable.
In March 2017, Abbvie announced its partnership with Julianne in their campaign titled “Get in the Know about ME in EndoMEtriosis.” The goal is to educate women on recognizing symptoms of the disease and provide women who have the disease an opportunity to talk about their experiences.
Abbvie made a power move by enlisting an admired celebrity to bring attention to a cause that affects such a large segment of the population.
In addition to using celebrities to promote general health causes, brands can also partner with celebrities to promote specific products. This approach has high potential, as long as brands are careful to follow all regulations to avoid legal trouble
Valeant Pharmaceuticals produces a toe fungus treatment medication called Jublia. They recruited NFL greats Deion Sanders, Howie Long and Phil Simms to promote the product.
The brand aired a 30 second TV commercial during Super Bowl 50 with a comedic tone starring the three athletes.
Valeant Pharmaceuticals matched their use of celebrities with the right platform and audience. By airing the ad during the Super Bowl they were able to reach many potential consumers, and by using celebrities that made sense in that context, they were able to make a purposeful connection.
Tecfidera is a prescription medication produced by biotechnology brand Biogen, used to treat the autoimmune disease Multiple Sclerosis. The brand partnered with Jamie-Lynn Sigler to promote the product.
The actress, best known for her role on “The Sopranos,” revealed in early 2016 that she has Multiple Sclerosis. Shortly afterward the “Reimage MySelf” campaign debuted.
The campaign touted Jamie-Lynn as a former Tecfidera patient and included a website with written pieces of her stories dealing with the disease.
The brand won a second place award at the 2017 Direct to Consumer National Advertising Awards in the category of Best Use of Celebrity in Campaign/PSA. Their effective use of a celebrity allowed them to garner support from other MS patients and increase awareness and usage of their product.
photo credit: Pictures of Money via Flickr