How Allergan is easing the conversation about birth control

The campaign features Bayer and OB/GYN Dr. Jessica Shepherd in a series of educational and entertaining videos that tackle common questions about birth control pills

Brand: Lo Loestrin Fe

Owner: Allergan

Campaign: Know Your Birth Control

Agencies/Partners: Mission Media

Duration: August 2017-February 2018

Saturday Night Live cast member Vanessa Bayer is helping Allergan educate women about birth control pills with the Know Your Birth Control campaign.

The campaign features Bayer and OB/GYN Dr. Jessica Shepherd in a series of educational and entertaining videos that tackle common questions about birth control pills - including Allergan’s contraceptive Lo Loestrin Fe.

The videos show Bayer hitting the streets of New York in a series of "woman on the street" interviews to ask women questions about contraception while Shepherd answers the same common questions in a separate three-part video.

"In today’s cluttered environment, there's so much coming at people," says Jim Maffezzoli, VP of women’s health at Allergan. "You need to engage and one of the best ways to do that can be humor. We needed to do two things: educate and entertain.  Had we just done factual videos, it might have blended into the background."

Shepherd regularly talks women’s health on TV and in the media. She has appeared on NBC’s Today, Dr. Oz, CBS, and Fox, along with writing a regular column in Essence.

More than 61% of women aged 15 to 44 in the U.S. use some form of contraception, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Use of the birth control pill is most common, at 16% of those women.

"The idea came from our group thinking, how do we best connect with young millennial women?" Maffezzoli says. "They’re less traditional so video and humor are a good way to get through. The humor gets people to pay attention to recognize some of these questions about contraception - then we provide the factual education."

Bayer asked women in the videos how birth control works and if the pill must be taken at the same time every day.

The campaign targets millennial women - who also appear in the videos with Bayer. Allergan is also running a social media campaign across several platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat.

This is the first time a campaign for Lo Loestrin has appeared on Snapchat, Maffezzoli says. The move onto Snapchat makes sense for a video campaign trying to target millennial women.

"The nice thing about the videos is they can be in short or long format," Maffezzoli says. "You can fit them in the six or 15 second ad. People see it in their feed and interact with it. Maybe then they go for more information and see the long form or physician videos [with Shepherd], which are housed on the website."

The aim of Know Your Birth Control is to make women more comfortable and prepared to have a conversation with doctors about birth control. Most often that conversation can be uncomfortable or patients aren’t informed, but Maffezzoli hopes the videos will provide information women need to talk about the pill.

"We want women prepared for a good conversation with physicians, to be comfortable, and break down hesitations and embarrassment or stigma," Maffezzoli says. "We hope it achieves that goal to get women to learn more about oral contraception."

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