Lilly redirects Evista

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Eli Lilly & Co. is adjusting marketing for Evista, the osteoporosis drug once supported with an ad splash featuring actress Julie Andrews, to a more targeted $5 million push.

The new direct and print campaign breaks this week from Roska Direct, Montgomeryville, Pa., which won the account after a review in March. Evista has not been advertised since spring 2000, when the Julie Andrews creative, handled by Publicis Groupe's Publicis Dialog, New York, last aired. Interpublic Group of Cos.' DraftWorldwide, New York, handles Evista's media buying.

"[Eli Lilly] decided that the more mass-media approach was not going to drive the brand forward," said Chuck McLeester, VP of strategy at Roska. "Direct-to-consumer uses broad-based, mass-reach advertising to go out there and push a brand to consumers," he said. "In direct-to-patient marketing, we try to identify individual patients, get them to raise their hands, and then market to them based on where they might be in a relationship with a particular drug or a particular disease." Eli Lilly would not comment on the campaign.

Evista's demographic target is post-menopausal women. About 10 million Americans-80% of them women-suffer from osteoporosis, according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation. Post-menopausal women are at higher risk due to increased loss of bone mass, causing one in two women over 50 to suffer from osteoporosis-related fractures.

To connect with these women, Roska Direct developed a print and direct-marketing campaign to personalize the risk of osteoporosis. Three print executions, breaking in August issues of Cooking Light, Family Circle, Ladies' Home Journal and Women's Day, use a woman-to-woman approach to encourage women to asses their own risks. The ads invite them to order-via phone, Web or mail-a free informational booklet, which acts as a lead-generator so Lilly can conduct further relationship-marketing efforts with Evista patients. The booklet includes a checklist to help women ask questions about osteoporosis risks during physician visits.

Eli Lilly's shift to more targeted marketing is "the realization that you've got a condition where self-diagnosis is difficult," said Steven Tighe, senior pharmaceutical analyst at Merrill Lynch. "When you have a problem with self-diagnosis, often DTC advertising does not lead to increased prescriptions."

The ads are not branded with the product's name, only Lilly's corporate moniker and tagline, "Answers that matter."

"We're trying to get people to focus in on the risk. We don't want the product message to muddle up the risk message," Mr. McLeester said. In addition to the magazine ads, Roska is sending out 180,000 direct mail pieces later this month to women who expressed an interest in osteoporosis.

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