Idorsia befriends Jen Aniston for a brand new sleep marketing campaign as she prepares to launch insomnia medication

The average person doesn’t have much in common with Jennifer Aniston — her fame, her money, her looks (that hair!). However, there is one thing that 25 million Americans share with the A-lister – insomnia.

Idorsia has partnered with Aniston on a new unbranded awareness campaign, Seize the Night & Day, to raise awareness that insomnia is a real disorder that requires real medical attention. The site focuses on the science behind insomnia, offers tips and tricks for creating a routine, and provides a forum to connect with others struggling with problems.

Aniston, or rather “Jen” as she’s known throughout, features heavily on the site with a 30-second spot and an unplanned, intimate chat, “Jen’s Story,” in which she openly discusses her issues with speaks to sleeping.

“What we really want to achieve is for people to rethink sleep, spark new conversations, and thereby amplify our voice,” said Vic Noble Idorsia’s US director of consumer marketing. “It’s a great brand to go with Jennifer Aniston, who is known for health and wellness as well as her belief in good sleep.”

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Directed by Academy Award-winning director, writer and actress Taika Waititi, the Time is a Construct spot features Aniston’s trademarks — she can’t sleep, she’s talking to herself about how much sleep she’ll get if she does just falling asleep, tossing and turning, looking at the clock, distracted by random esoteric thoughts.

Eventually the alarm goes off and an exhausted Aniston is jolted awake to find a calmer, fresher, rested version of herself sitting on the sofa. Jen, rested, says to her, “Good days start with good nights, seems like a good time to catch up on both.” Exhausted, Jen looks confused, “Why are you talking like that? Is this an ad? Are we in an ad?”

Yes, Jen, you are, and there are more to come under the Seize the Night & Day umbrella. There’s also a fairly comprehensive media push from digital, social, broadcast, and omni-channel campaigns. And why not? People love to see Aniston on the small screen.

“She’s very approachable and very believable, and she activates people. People listen to Jen and there’s a high viewership factor,” Noble said.

And if the person in the campaign sounds like you’d expect the real Jen Aniston to, that’s because she is. Aniston had a seat at the table and plenty of input. “We wanted to make sure their voice stays their voice, it was a real collaboration.”

With two A-list names, this must be a big spend for an unbranded awareness campaign. Of course, the team is shy about this amount, but it has to be big; Still, what a way to enter a market.

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Idorsia is a relatively new player, an offshoot of big-pharma giant Johnson & Johnson’s acquisition of Actelion, and Quviviq (daridorexant), a sleep aid for insomnia, is its lead drug. The therapy received FDA approval this month, but since the FDA has applied for controlled substance registration, it won’t be available until May.

It’s looking for competition Merck’s Belsomra and Eisai’s Dayvigo. With 25 million Americans affected by insomnia and only about 30% of them being , there is a huge untapped market. But Idorsia has a tall order to differentiate Quviviq, particularly from Merck’s Belsomra, which has been on the market for seven years, used the same mechanism, and hasn’t had the most successful market.

However, tapping into Aniston is a good first step in the marketing wars.

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