United States


ZELNORM DTC Campaign: Restart

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Originally launched in 2002, ZELNORM was the first prescription treatment for Irritable Bowel Syndrome with Constipation (IBS-C), prescribed over 12 million times by gastroenterologists and PCPs until it exited the market in 2007. After a 12-year absence, ZELNORM reentered the market in 2019 with an updated indication (now for women <65), facing a market crowded with more-recently-launched brands. However, ZELNORM’s mechanism of action (MOA) is unique among its competitors; rather than solely acting a secretagogue (like Linzess or Amitiza), ZELNORM also activates bowel-moving muscles in the gut, giving patients who’ve unsuccessfully tried other treatments a new way to get their symptoms under control. 63% of patients using ZELNORM’s competitors report unresolved symptoms or side effects, so ZELNORM is well-positioned to help many who continue to suffer from IBS-C. Heartbeat’s multichannel campaign for ZELNORM supported the brand’s relaunch by encouraging consumers to leverage ZELNORM’s unique MOA to “restart” their guts—and their lives. Patients told us that IBS-C made them feel as if they were losing control of their lives, with their symptoms making them feel stuck, frustrated and uncomfortable not only literally, but also figuratively. By pairing the instantly-recognizable “reload” symbol (the circular arrow that you probably see at the top of your browser right now) with uplifting imagery of women participating in activities that IBS-C patients felt unable to do due to unresolved symptoms, marketing materials emphasized the prospect of fresh new beginnings. The reload symbol can be seen throughout all DTC imagery and is also deployed as a subtle design element throughout online and printed materials to reinforce the “restart” concept.


Senior Director, Marketing, Alfasigma
Lisa Riedell
Senior Product Manager, Alfasigma
Kris Darling
Group Account Director, Heartbeat
David Brennan
Account Supervisor, Heartbeat
Colleen Griffin
Director, Production, Heartbeat
Ana Capellan
EVP, Strategic Capabilities, Heartbeat
Lisa Varshney
Associate Director, Strategy, Heartbeat
Daniel Chun
Creative Director, Heartbeat
Chris Whaites
Associate Creative Director, Heartbeat
Dave Shea
Copy Supervisor, Heartbeat
Gena Taylor
Art Director, Heartbeat
Maggie Emerson
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