Case study of the evolution of a pharmaceutical prescription product (Saxenda, weight loss) social media campaign
Whether you have ever tried to lose weight or not, most of us realize that there are peak times when people get motivated to take on the challenge. And here we are in January, the time when approximately 1/3 of Canadians resolve to work on their fitness levels and nutrition (Source: Statista, Leading New Year’s Resolutions according to Canadians in 2017).
Novo Nordisk Canada understands the mindset of their target audience for Saxenda®, a weight loss prescription medication, and they play to it very well through their evolving Saxenda® social media campaign. Below you will see how the Saxenda social media campaign started and how it evolved throughout the past 8 months.
May 2018: Laying down the foundation
Novo Nordisk Canada sponsored Facebook ads promoting the fact that obesity was now considered a chronic illness by several medical organizations. I only have screenshots of the French ads. This was a great starting point to lay down the foundation for their upcoming campaigns for both of their prescription weight loss products, Ozempic® and Saxenda® .
June 2018: Saxenda® Choose Change campaign
The Saxenda Choose Change campaign was launched on Facebook in June 2018. Novo Nordisk Canada was sponsoring several Facebook ads which were obviously targeted to healthcare professionals, with a call-to-action asking the healthcare professional to watch their 59-second video. The objective was to get healthcare professionals to start a discussion about obesity with the appropriate patients, with a message that obesity is a disease and is treatable.
The Saxenda Choose Change campaign was also targeted to overweight Canadians in a wide variety of Facebook ads, in both English and French. The ads were designed to increase awareness of Saxenda and encourage interested Canadians to speak with their primary care physician about it. With the frequent mentions of a resolution update, it appears that Novo Nordisk Canada was targeting patients who had tried to lose weight before but were unsuccessful. It appears that the Saxenda Choose Change campaign was meant to re-inspire these patients.
The Saxenda Facebook ads directed Canadians to www.Saxenda.ca where they can learn more about how to speak with their doctor about Saxenda and obtain a discount for their first box of Saxenda.
September 2018: Back to Saxenda® campaign
Other than January, September seems to be a symbolic time for new beginnings for many people since it is the beginning of a new school year, and Novo Nordisk Canada spun that into their Saxenda campaign with a play-on-words focused on back-to-school; Back to Saxenda and First day of Saxenda. They also maintained their Choose Change slogan for a few of their Facebook ads. As you can see, their ads continued to target overweight men as well as overweight women.
December 2018: Now is the new later campaign
Fully aware that many people wait for January to take a resolution to lose weight, Novo Nordisk Canada sponsored Facebook ads to motivate overweight Canadians to take action now and not wait until January. As marketers, we know how that last little push at year-end just might make the difference for a brand to reach its sales objectives for the year.
Late December 2018: Countdown to new year resolution
And my personal favorite part of this campaign evolution so far was when Novo Nordisk Canada sponsored Facebook ads for a 3-day countdown to the new year. A pharmaceutical company can have a bit of fun with its community just like a consumer company! Understandably, some brands do not have that luxury because of the type of disease that they are associated with, but for certain brands like weight loss prescription products, it works beautifully.
January 2019: The Saxenda® resolution campaign
Novo Nordisk Canada is again playing on people’s need for a fresh start by encouraging overweight Canadians to make a new year’s resolution to talk to their doctor about Saxenda.
Playing by the rules: Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) pharmaceutical advertising
Throughout the evolution of the Saxenda social media campaign, Novo Nordisk Canada played by the direct-to-consumer pharmaceutical advertising guidelines which state that you can only refer to the product name, price or quantity. You will notice that the ads targeted to patients mention the brand name Saxenda, but they do not mention any indication related to weight loss. In the ads targeted to healthcare professionals, they have to be careful because even though these ads are not intended for patients, it is possible for a consumer to see it so they must be treated as a direct-to-consumer pharmaceutical advertising ad. And they are! The ads either mention obesity or they mention the brand name Saxenda, but never both in the same ad.
Where to follow Novo Nordisk Canada:
You can find the Novo Nordisk Canada Facebook page here, although it is not used to communicate with the online community. Its main purpose is just to be the anchor page for Facebook ads, which has been a requirement of Facebook for the past year or so. However, their Twitter account posts more regularly, and you can find them on Twitter here.
Novo Nordisk Canada partnered with Media Platforms for their Saxenda® campaigns.
Saxenda® ads shown in this blog post are all owned by Novo Nordisk Canada.
Let us know what your thoughts are on the evolution of the Saxenda social media campaign in the comments below.