Sun Pharma picks 'Dr. Pimple Popper' for educational acne campaign
Sun Pharma has enlisted the help of “Dr. Pimple Popper” dermatologist Sandra Lee to teach patients about the hormones behind their acne.
The “AH-ha! It’s Acne Hormones” campaign debuted on Wednesday, more than a year after the launch of Sun’s acne drug Winlevi. Unlike antibiotic acne treatments, Winlevi is an androgen receptor inhibitor, targeting the same hormone that can also cause hair loss.
The new campaign is meant to help patients grasp the underlying causes behind their acne, and Lee — a dermatologist and ‘popaholic’ known for “Dr. Pimple Popper” reality TV show and viral pimple-popping videos — is “a celebrity, in her own right, with exactly the demographic that we’re trying to reach,” said Andy Nelson, VP of sales and marketing for dermatology at Sun Pharma.
“We’re spotlighting hormones as a major underlying cause of acne, regardless of age, race or ethnicity,” he said. “And there are lots of misconceptions about acne, that it just happens to teenagers, or it can be caused by behaviors.”
The campaign features a video of Lee, who also stars in the TLC reality TV show “Dr. Pimple Popper,” as well as a Q&A page where she aims to “‘pop’ common acne myths,” such as, “It’s time for midterms! Can the stress cause acne?” Or, “I’m in my 40s … why am I still getting acne?”
“Hormones constitute the underlying cause of acne in both females and males. When people try to manage acne on their own by popping pimples or picking their skin, they can often make things worse,” Lee says in the video. “Anyone who wants to properly treat acne should really make an appointment with a dermatologist.”
Sun Pharma also profiled 20 acne sufferers of varying ages, from a soccer mom to a teenage ballet dancer.
Sun forked over $45 million upfront in 2021 to snag the US and Canada commercial rights to Winlevi from Cassiopea, which won approval for the drug in 2020. While the “AH-ha!” campaign is unbranded, the website includes a direct link to the drug’s information page. “Check out a different kind of acne treatment that targets acne hormones in the skin,” it says.
“When we acquired Winlevi what we wanted to do was reach the broader patient base, so not just for severe acne,” Nelson said. “It [the campaign] is really trying to have folks understand what’s going on a little bit better with their disease.”
The new work builds on the company’s last campaign video, “My Life With Acne,” which featured 10 dermatology healthcare professionals who spoke about their personal experiences with acne.