The Super Bowl brought us its usual abundance of star-studded commercials on Sunday, Dexcom standing out with an ad for its new continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) system, featuring pop sensation Nick Jonas.
The ad might not have millions of YouTube views like those sponsored by brands such as Pepsi and T-Mobile, but 160K is not a bad number for the pharmaceutical industry.
Let’s dig into the probable causes of its success.
The power of celebrity endorsements
I don't think anyone would argue against the case for Nick Jonas being the top reason Dexcom's ad took off. Throw a celebrity into any commercial, no matter the content, and watch the views skyrocket.
A celebrity gets you that initial click, enticing potential customers to peer into your brand world.
Celebrity endorsements even help to spread the word to people outside of one's target audience who can then pass it along the grapevine until it hits the desired target.
I don't have diabetes, but I heard of the ad for Dexcom's medical device prior to writing this blog because of Nick Jonas' starring role, having grown up in the peak of the Jonas Brothers' popularity.
Our celebrity-obsessed world lends itself to influencer marketing and the like. Dexcom amplified its name by pairing it with an already big one.
Many consumers trust their favorite celebrities. If you love Rihanna and she says so-and-so's brand of juice is the best, you'll be running to the store to buy it. Someone asks you why? Easy. Because Rihanna said so.
However, the stakes for switching juice brands are far lower than those involved in trying new medications or medical devices. So when using a celebrity in a pharma ad, they’d better be a true fit for that brand.
Dexcom nails it with Jonas. Jonas has been open about living with type 1 diabetes for years, which adds that layer of trust to Dexcom’s ad.
Once trust is established, pharma brands can put their teacher hats on. In this case, Jonas describes the user-friendly features of the Dexcom G7 to viewers, ending with, "It's not magic, just feels that way."
The art of normalizing medical devices
Aside from the star power of Jonas, we have the sleek style of the ad to thank for the boosted viewership. Jonas says it feels like magic, but it looks like magic, too.
The ad doesn’t enumerate the difficulties of diabetes or have a pitiable main character sitting in some sad room pressing on their overpatch. Instead, a well-liked singer who’s got the “it factor” wears it with pride. It’s treated like a necessary accessory rather than a cumbersome medical device.
The commercial is cool. There's no better way to put it. Jonas is like the James Bond of pharma, standing out in a clean, futuristic white room.
The transitions are smooth, the background music is funky, and Jonas is dressed to the nines with perfectly styled hair and a charming smile. It radiates the suave energy of a luxury goods commercial.
Dexcom's approach to its Super Bowl ad is compelling because it avoids falling into the industry trap of corny or overly dreary content. Most of all, it normalizes the use of medical devices like CGM systems by placing Jonas at its helm without victimizing him. He remains the cool singer, cooler for taking charge of his health with Dexcom.