JWT

Mar 01, 2010
By Pharmaceutical Executive

Feeling Wound Up
JWT
BRAND Pristiq CLIENT Wyeth


FROM LEFT: Jennifer Chanowitz, account director, Bob Tabor, creative director, Mari Helen Bohen, creative director, Leo Tarkovsky, director of business strategy, Howard Courtemanche, CEO, Health
J Walter Thompson sat in focus groups for over a year and a half listening to women explain what they thought of depression commercials. One after another, the women said that they felt worse after they saw ads depicting women sitting in a dark room, all alone, unable able to continue their lives. Misery begets misery—that's not exactly what pharma firms are going for in their DTC ads.

"When we heard that, we had such sensitivity for the people who suffer from depression, and we wanted to depict the depressed person as someone who is surviving and looking to do their best," says Bob Tabor, executive creative director, senior partner, JWT. "Patients said that they felt like a wind up doll, and we captured that and created the concept."

The wind-up doll is a representation of a woman's inner feelings. With it, the patient can speak freely and work through her emotions. The symbolic nature of the doll is the main reason why the agency chose to eschew a contemporary doll for something classic. "I didn't want people to think that the ad was [making light of the disease] in any way," Tabor says. "It had to be an antique—something that is made out of metal and has been around for a while—that has charm and is something ingrained in history."