First, it was Martha Stewart. Now, four more celebrities who are at high risk for developing severe Covid-19 symptoms are getting in on Pfizer’s Covid-related ad campaigns in the new year.
The ad, titled “A Whole Different Ball Game,” urges viewers to know their risk factors, make a plan and if they test positive, seek an 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.
For musician and filmmaker Questlove, being overweight puts him at high risk, and for actress Jean Smart, it’s diabetes.
“In fact, you can be one of almost 200 million Americans with a high risk factor that makes Covid even riskier,” Pink says.
While the campaign is unbranded, the commercial encourages patients to assess their risks at the website knowplango.com, and “ask your doctor about treatment options that may help you.” That includes Pfizer’s antiviral Paxlovid, which raked in more than $9.5 billion in the first half of 2022.
The website also advises staying up to date on vaccines, even as the US struggles with slow uptake. Just 15.3% of Americans have rolled up their sleeves for an updated booster, according to the CDC’s latest data. About 32.5 million Americans have received Pfizer and BioNTech’s bivalent booster.
“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.”
Just last month, the US government inked a nearly $2 billion deal for 3.7 million more treatment courses of Pfizer’s Paxlovid, planned for delivery by early 2023.
The latest campaign aired just a couple weeks after Pfizer and BioNTech unveiled a commercial promoting updated 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.