Creativity Without Borders

Ad agencies far and wide are transcending boundaries of all types.
Nov 01, 2004

Healthcare agencies and their clients look forward to the annual Rx Club Awards, now in its 18th year, hoping their work will win a spot among the year's most creative advertising. But the show serves another, perhaps more strategic, purpose: Winning work provides a barometer of the climate, trends, and tactics taking hold on Madison Avenue and in the pharma industry.

Category Calendars Title Lamisil "Digger" Calendar | Agency Integrated Communications | Client Novartis Creative Director Chuck DeMarco and Bobby Defino | Art Director Jesus G. Silva | Copywriter Rich Dotz and Donna Ambriano | Product Manager David Xu | Illustrator Tom Ricotta and Wild Brain

Changing Palette The most notable difference between this year's show and those in previous years is the diversification of the palette on which creative and copy directors paint. That was primarily reflected in the increase of awards going to brand and disease websites. But for the first time, the show honored a digital invitation and animation with top awards. Krell Advertising took home a silver for its handiwork, which invited physicians attending the 2004 American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting to a cocktail reception hosted by PharmaNet. Interlink Healthcare Communications, housed under Lowe Healthcare Worldwide, also won a silver award for the animation "Dual Action: The Movie" commissioned by Bayer.

Category Campaign | Title Risperdal "Living Nightmares" Agency Junction 11 Advertising Client Janssen-Cilag | Creative Director Richard Rayment and John Timney Art Director John Timney | Copywriter Richard Rayment | Product Manager Nick Georgiou and Lisa Meddows-Taylor | Artist Mark Moran

Of course, those examples of creativity have been in the field for some time. But the submission and recognition of those works in a creativity competition shows that not only is the industry conversing more fluently in that medium, but that those tactics are being infused with an artistic sensibility.

Category Rx/OTC Print | Title Lipitor- Numbers Print Campaign | Agency Merkley and Partners | Client Pfizer | Creative Director Jonathan Isaacs | Art Director Heath Matyjewicz | Copywriter Joe Esposito | Product Manager Emad Abdelnaby

Rise to the Top Despite the show's continuing foray into the electronic space, traditional ad campaigns and sales aids captured the bulk of awards.

Category Product Websites | Title Duac Gel Teenage Website Agency Holtzman Communications Client Stiefel Laboratories Creative Director Sandra Holtzman and Joe Bergmann Art Director Phil Donaldson Copywriter Joe Bergmann Product Manager Sheetal Sahel | Artist Paul Johnson Interactive Url

UK-based Junction 11 Advertising continued its winning streak by using direct messages and haunting images that have become characteristic of the Risperdal (risperidone) campaign.

Category Campaign Title Silhouette Campaign-Diabetes Agency Sudler & Hennessey Melbourne Client Dairy Australia Art Director Mark Webster Copywriter Adam Taor Product Manager Toni Kokkinos Artist Eryk Fitkau

McCann Healthcare also repeated its success enjoyed in previous years with a DTC ad for Levitra (vardenafil) and an eye-catching sales kit shaped as a matchbook for Novartis' Famvir (famciclovir).

Category DTC/OTC Print| Title Boomgate | Agency McCann Healthcare Client Bayer/GlaxoSmithKline | Creative Director Hugh Fitzhardinge/Grant Foster Art Director Grant Foster | Copywriter Hugh Fitzhardinge | Product Manager Damian Hancock

Other repeat winners this year included Corbett Accel, Abelson-Taylor, Gerbig Snell/Weisheimer, Concentric, and Integrated Communications.

Category Direct Mail | Title Prevacid Heals Tough Direct Mail Campaign | Agency Abelson-Taylor | Client TAP Pharmaceutical | Creative Director Stephen Neale | Art Director Ed Fong | Copywriter Barry Levine and Joseph Tiu | Product Manager Alan Elsmo and Mike Spitalli

Despite those mainstays, Rx Club Awards founder Ina Kramer says the mix of participants is changing. "A broader range of international agencies found us this year—especially India," says Kramer. "There's a lot of 'wows' coming from outside the United States, like the work the Sudler & Hennessey offices are doing in Melbourne and Milan."

Category DTC/OTC Print Title Combs | Agency Sudler & Hennessey Milan | Client Capellichefare | Creative Director Bruno Stucchi and Angelo Ghidotti Art Director Fabio De Vecchi | Copywriter Angelo Ghidotti Artist Roberto Rolando and Renato Zuccolin

The awards show is especially important this year, say industry observers, given that today's environment isn't conducive to fostering great creativity.

Category Sales Force Kit Title Less Outbreaks | Agency McCann Healthcare | Client Novartis Creative Director Hugh Fitzhardinge and Grant Foster Art Director Grant Foster | Copywriter Hugh Fitzhardinge | Product Manager Damian Hancock

"OIG, PhRMA guidelines, negative coverage of the pharma industry—that makes people more conservative and influences the creativity," says Ahnal Purohit, president and CEO of Donahoe Purohit Miller Advertising and a 2004 Rx Club Awards judge. "There are many layers of concern for all of us in terms of what image to portray. If you are more creative and aggressive, how would the press, consumers, and doctors perceive that? On the other hand, sometimes we go too far and we govern ourselves more than is necessary."

Category Company Websites Title Concentric Website | Agency Concentric | Client Concentric | Creative Director Michael Sanzen | Art Director Sayan Ray Interactive Url

Sandra Holtzman of Holtzman Communications says that more than ever it takes a commitment from clients to enable great creativity to flourish. The website that Holtzman designed for Steifel Laboratories' acne treatment Duac Gel (clindamycin)—which allows users to "pop" zits as they mouse over navigational options—would have been rejected by most companies even though extensive end-user qualitative research pointed to that approach. "You cannot do a site like this unless a client wants it," notes Holtzman. "Companies had to be bold and take risks if they wanted to be—pardon the expression—in your face."

Category Calendars Title Flomax 2004 Calendar | Agency Euro RSCG Life Chelsea Client Boehringer Ingelheim | Creative Director Stephen King and Caroline Burton Art Director Lena Shabus Copywriter Rachael Johnson

In some ways, agency business-to-business advertising is the truest gauge of the industry's creativity because it lets agencies do what they do best—without client concerns getting in the way.

Category Physician Education Title Concerta Labels of Hope Agency Clinical Connexion Client McNeil Consumer and Specialty Pharmaceuticals | Creative Director Jim Welsh | Copywriter Brian Bass Product Manager Wendy Bell Director Video Jim Welsh Editor Video Jon Budine

Sure to get a laugh, Gerbig Snell/Weisheimer took a gold for its clever "Worldwide Taxi Cab Mailer," which announced GSW's new New York office. Creative director Barry Schmader and his team at Dudnyk Healthcare Group took a silver for the attention-grabbing "Lock" ad, which uses stark imagery to convey its tagline: to help clients "find their voices."

Category Animation Title Dual Action: The Movie | Agency Interlink Healthcare Communications Client Bayer | Creative Director Jon Male and Dave Renner | Art Director Greg Librizzi Copywriter David Verdon | Artist Kasnot Medical Illustration

Another breakthrough was Adair-Green's "The Cure for the Young Brand Blues Ad Campaign." "One of our assistant directors in copy was very involved with the local Atlanta blues community," says Mark Perlotto, executive vice-president. The agency composed songs and partnered with blues players to record them. CDs were used as direct-mail pieces. "There seems to be a lot of sameness out there," says Perlotto. "We wanted our message to be differentiated—not just a cool graphic or shocking photo—and speak more broadly than just the creative component."

Category Animation Title Dual Action: The Movie | Agency Interlink Healthcare Communications Client Bayer | Creative Director Jon Male and Dave Renner | Art Director Greg Librizzi Copywriter David Verdon | Artist Kasnot Medical Illustration

Category Agency Self-Promotion | Title Dudnyk Self Promo Lock Ad | Agency Dudnyk Healthcare Group | Client Dudnyk Healthcare Group Creative Director Carleen Niemiec | Art Director Carleen Niemiec | Copywriter Barry Schmader Product Manager Ron Walton

Category Professional Print Title Pitcher | Agency Sudler & Hennessey Milan | Client Pfizer | Creative Director Angelo Ghidotti and Bruno Stucchi Art Director Maddalena Vizzone | Copywriter Angelo Ghidotti | Artist Occhiomagico

Category E-mail | Title ASCO 2004 Invitation (interactive version) Agency Krell Advertising | Client PharmaNet Creative Director Robert Krell | Art Director RJay Haluko | Copywriter Tom Savonick Product Manager Andy Malavsky | Interactive Url

Category Product Websites Title Peace of Mind | Agency Anderson DDB | Client Wyeth | Creative Director Ron Hudson Art Director Monica Broekhovan Copywriter Abraham Zachariah Product Manager Jill Fisher Interactive Url

Category Product Websites | Title Website | Agency Integrated Communications Client Aventis Pasteur | Creative Director Chuck DeMarco & Bobby Defino | Art Director Enrique Heredia & Suzanne Elward Copywriter Diana Stewart | Photographer Peter Vidor Interactive Url

Category Agency Self-Promotion | Title GSW Worldwide Taxi Cab Mailer Agency GSW Worldwide | Client GSW Worldwide | Creative Director Bruce Rooke | Art Director Eric Davis | Copywriter Bruce Rooke

Category Campaign | Title Metacam Dogs & Cats Campaign Agency Scholz & Friends Life Science | Client Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica | Creative Director Julian Astin | Art Director Julia Meyran | Copywriter Julian Astin | Product Manager Craig Beck | Artist Alex Howe

Category Agency Self-Promotion | Title The Cure for the Young Brand Blues Ad Campaign Agency | Adair-Greene Healthcare Communications | Client Adair-Greene Healthcare Communications Creative Director Rita Brett | Art Director Lou Zaffos | Copywriter Tom Maples | Photographer Jerry Siegel

Category Professional Print | Title Hands Up Agency Paling Walters Client Servier Creative Director Frank Walters Art Director Paul Bryne Copywriter Carmel Thompson | Product Manager Rosemary Delaney | Artist Nick Veasey

Category DTC/OTC Print Title Crestor Print Campaign Agency The Quantum Group | Client AstraZeneca Creative Director Bob Adsit and Thomas McDonnell | Art Director Gina Pettaris Copywriter Andy Goodman | Product Manager Sharon DeBacco/Robin Mandell/Cindy Koenig Artist Jonathan Kantor

Category Mixed Media | Title Pentasa Mixed Media Campaign | Agency Abelson-Taylor Client Shire US | Creative Director Angela Lustig Art Director Annie Barton/Suzanne Cronacher Copywriter Barbara Delonnay/Margaret Reich Product Manager Greg Hanna

Category Corporate Advertising Title Ethicon Endo-Surgery Corporate Campaign | Agency GSW Worldwide | Client Ethicon Endo-Surgery | Creative Director Carrie Morris Art Director Jamie Santillian/ Andy Spitzer Copywriter Carrie Morris | Product Manager Chuck Tabri | Photographer Will Shively

Category Mixed Media | Title Frogs & Fish Campaign | Agency Corbett Accel Healthcare Group | Client Alcon Creative Director Eric Loeb | Art Director Greg Gwynne | Copywriter Terry Smith & Lisa Holmes

Category Campaign | Title Biogel Skinsense Natural | Agency Rainmaker Advertising Client Regent Medical | Creative Director Tony Green | Art Director Tony Green Copywriter George Todd | Product Manager Maggie Smock | Artist Tony Dumble

Category Education | Title Expressions Agency Sudler & Hennessey North Sydney Client Roche Australia | Creative Director Art Director Nathalie Garcia | Copywriter Adam Taor | Product Manager Fleur Gill and John Miller | Photographer Wilk & Lund Photography

Category E-mail | Title Sprinter Eblast Agency Dudnyk Healthcare Group Client Medtronic | Creative Director Barry Schmader | Art Director John Kemble Copywriter Barry Schmader | Artist Artistic Image | Interactive Url

Category Special Projects | Title Crestor Reatrix (interactive) | Agency Grey Healthcare Group Client AstraZeneca Creative Director Ross Thomson/Robert Revell | Art Director Ellen Schiff | Copywriter James Frankel | Product Manager Terri McNally/William Hatcher | Artist Reatrix Systems

Category DTC/OTC Print | Title Your Body Makes More | Agency Healthworld Canada | Client Swiss Herbal | Creative Director Gord Schwab Art Director Gordon Marshall and Denis Piquette Copywriter Gord Schwab | Product Manager Jeff Gersohn | Artist Graham French

Category Commercials, longer than 30 seconds | Title Crossing Guard Agency Anderson DDB | Client Ortho Biotech Creative Director Dieter Kaufman | Art Director Jane Pritchard | Copywriter Patty Zoldos Product Manager Hanna Smith | Director Video Stan Schofield | Producer Video Fran Rutherford Editor Video Steve Manz

WORKS NOT PICTURED Category Commercials, up to 30 seconds Title Work of Art | Agency Foote Cone & Belding - New York | Client Alcon Laboratories | Creative Director Chris Becker | Art Director Ray Behar | Copywriter Amelia Rosner | Product Manager Lori Kletzkin | Director Video Bruce Doward Associates- Bruce Doward | Producer Video Ida Lew (Agency Producer) | Editor Video King Cut- Enrique Aquirre

Category Commercials, longer than 30 seconds | Title Lipitor- "Surfer" TV Agency Merkley and Partners | Client Pfizer | Creative Director Jonathan Isaacs Art Director Matthew Johnstone | Copywriter Jonathan Isaacs | Product Manager Karen Lazan | Producer Video Sara Eolin

Category Medical Office Poster Title October | Agency Ogilvy & Mather India Client Pfizer | Creative Director Rajesh Rai Art Director Vipul Salve | Copywriter Rajesh Rai | Product Manager Rajgopal Mallya

Category Medical Office Poster Title A tasty treat for the mother-to-be Agency Ogilvy & Mather India | Client Novartis | Creative Director Rajesh Rai Art Director Zahid Shaikh | Copywriter Ashish Vyas Product Manager Ajay Rawal

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