Redeemed “Sinners” as Pharma Spokespeople Novo Nordisk’s Faith-Based Marketing
Paul Deen Melting Butter SculptureIt makes sense for diabetes drug marketers at Novo Nordisk to implement marketing programs specifically to reach African Americans and lower-income people where they pray, play, and eat.

Part of that strategy involves celebrities who usually do not register with “hoity-toity” upper-income white folk. These include NASCAR racecar driver Charlie Kimball, southern belle celebrity chef Paula Deen, and recently ordained Pentecostal minister Joseph Ward Simmons, aka Rev. Run of the hip-hop group Run-D.M.C.

“Redeemed sinner” seems to be a pattern among Novo Nordisk’s celebrity spokespeople. Deen’s “sin” was promoting high-calorie, fatty, and sugary recipes years before revealing she had type 2 diabetes, which is often associated with a diet rich in fats and sugar — the staples of Deen’s recipes. Now Deen says she includes more greens in her meals and eats in moderation.

Topics include:

  • Rev. Run’s “Sin”: Kool-Aid
  • Deen’s “Sin”: the N-Word
  • Appealing to African-American Christians
  • Novo “Suspends” Activities with Deen
  • Vetting Celebrity Spokespersons to Ensure Return on Investment
  • Brilliant or Dumb?

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Issue: Vol. 12, No. 6: 31 July 2013

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