NEW YORK: Tommy Bracco has managed to have a successful career on Broadway and reality television despite his severe asthma.
That’s in part because of Dupixent, a medicine that helps people with moderate to severe asthma from makers Sanofi and Regeneron.
The pharmaceutical companies partnered with Bracco, who starred in “Newsies” on Broadway and in the reality show “Big Brother,” for the companies’ LungZone campaign.
“We just found Tommy was so willing to share his story from the very start [and] had such a relatable story about making accommodations and the things that you have to do on an everyday basis because of your asthma,” said Eric Krapf, head of respiratory marketing for Regeneron.
The LungZone campaign launched in 2020 to reach patients suffering from moderate to severe uncontrolled asthma and inspire them to become more proactive about discussing symptoms with a doctor, said Timothy Cope, head of respiratory Marketing for Sanofi.
The brand partnered with influencers such as Kelley Green, a mindset coach and meditation instructor, and Gunnar Peterson, a personal trainer.
The new campaign video, which went live last month, is set in a theater, where Bracco takes the stage. The set features a depiction of Bracco’s childhood bedroom and an emergency room.
“I never knew if the neighbor's freshly mowed lawn would turn into an asthma attack,” Bracco recalls in the video. “Growing up, I wasn't allowed to have sleepovers with friends. My mom was very nervous about me having an asthma attack while I was away from her.”
Bracco describes being hospitalized because of asthma and his later success in theater. He also shares how he would hide an inhaler on stage in case he had an asthma attack.
“These experiences made me into the strong person that I am today. If you can't tell, I have a flair for the dramatic. Maybe it's because of what I went through as a kid,” Bracco says.
He relays how he continued to struggle with asthma until he became more proactive about addressing his symptoms.
“[Dupixent] is something that has worked for me. It made a difference in my life. I just feel more in control of my symptoms,” Bracco said.
“We thought that this would be a great way for patients to learn that there are other people out there like them,” Cope said.
Bracco has shared three dark campaign advertisements, meaning ones only visible to his target audience, on his TikTok channel.
The brand also plans to partner with five asthma influencers to increase traffic to the JoinLungZone site, Cope said.