Pfizer taps Pink, Michael Phelps and other celebrities in latest Covid campaign
Martha Stewart came first. Four more well-known people who are at a high risk of experiencing severe Covid-19 symptoms—including the pop diva Pink—are now participating in Pfizer's Covid-related advertising efforts for the coming year.
The "A Whole Different Ball Game" advertisement exhorts viewers to be aware of their risk factors, create a plan, and, should a positive test result occur, seek oral treatment.
“If this were the real Covid-19, I would be in real trouble because I have asthma,” singer-songwriter Pink says as she holds a red spiky ball made to look like the novel coronavirus. “And I have depression,” retired Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps says as he catches and tosses the ball.
Being overweight puts Questlove, a musician and filmmaker, at high danger, and diabetes puts Jean Smart, an actress, at risk.
“In fact, you can be one of almost 200 million Americans with a high risk factor that makes Covid even riskier,” Pink says.
Although the campaign is unbranded, the commercial urges viewers to "ask your doctor about treatment choices that may benefit you" and assess their risks at knowplango.com. This includes Paxlovid, a Pfizer antiviral that generated more than $9.5 billion in sales in the first half of 2022.
The website also suggests maintaining current on vaccines, despite the US's issues with low vaccination rates. The most recent statistics from the CDC show that only 15.3% of Americans have rolled up their sleeves for an updated booster. The bivalent booster from Pfizer and BioNTech has been given to about 32.5 million Americans.
“Staying up to date on boosters remains one of the best defenses against COVID-19, and as we enter the fourth year of COVID-19 infections in the U.S., it is critical that we find new and innovative ways to continue educating audiences on this topic,” Pfizer said in an email to Endpoints News on Tuesday. “Additionally, clinical data indicates that authorized prescription oral treatment may help to reduce illness severity, hospitalization rates and deaths among patients at high risk of developing severe COVID-19. These campaigns serve these public health goals.”
Recently, the US government signed a roughly $2 billion contract for 3.7 million more Paxlovid treatment courses from Pfizer, with delivery expected to begin in early 2023.
A few weeks prior to the release of the most recent campaign, Pfizer and BioNTech produced a commercial for improved booster shots featuring Stewart.
“You know that unwelcome guest everyone wishes would just leave already? That’s Covid-19,” Stewart says as she sharpens a long sword in the kitchen. That campaign is also unbranded, though Stewart rolls up her sleeve to indicate that she got an updated booster that protects against the Omicron variant.
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