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The Sudler & Hennessey Brand Revitalisation Award

Finalist

Xalacom – The revitalisation of a falling market leader

Pfizer in association with Sudler London


Summary of work

In 2001, five years after the launch of Xalatan (latanoprost), Pfizer launched Xalacom – a prostaglandin analogue + beta blocker (latanoprost + timolol) fixed-dose combination. Originally, at launch, Xalacom® was positioned as the most effective treatment for progressing glaucoma where it was clear that patients’ glaucoma had progressed and become uncontrolled.

However, although Xalacom was being prescribed in this group of patients, its market-leading position was under threat: it was seen as less effective than some other treatments because once glaucoma had progressed and become uncontrolled, the damage would be irreversible.

A series of strategic workshops identified that ophthalmologists were unsure what to do when a patient’s glaucoma had begun to progress and control had been lost. We termed this the ‘moment’. Analysis also showed that ophthalmologists were confused by the wide choice of fixed and separate combinations and when to use them. Finally, it was clear that competitors were focused on the rational benefits of their products.

Pfizer and Sudler London developed the ‘Fight’ campaign, informed by the insights revealed by these workshops. These emotionally engaging and creative set of materials, featuring the image of an ophthalmologist ‘hitting back’ as the disease progressed, repositioned Xalacom earlier in the treatment pathway at the ‘first signs of progression’. This provided clarity for ophthalmologists and gave them the opportunity to regain control of a patient’s glaucoma.

The figures showed that this approach was highly effective: within three months of launch, 14 out of 16 European countries had implemented the new campaign resulting in the reversal of a -4 per cent decline in 2009 to a +2 per cent growth in Xalacom 12 months later.

Judges comments

“Excellent piece of work with good evidence of change. Simple and impactful: a clear theme that saw a real shift from negative to positive – a genuine turnaround. Relevant patient and customer insight was identified and used to form the core of repositioning activities, which were consistent across Europe and tripled market share.”