A Foreign Affair
Since its inception, the Rx Club Awards have honored agencies from the United States and abroad. But this year more than others, judges were especially impressed with the pharma ad work being done globally, particularly in India."There seemed to be a broader range of international entries," says Rx Club Awards founder Ina Kramer. "We had so many foreign countries participating."
"India is right now on a boom," says Anand Krishna, associate account director at Sudler & Hennessey, India. "We are on the radar for IT outsourcing, training, and definitely advertising. The Rx Club Awards has given India a platform to showcase our healthcare communication work." This is particularly important because, in India, companies are not allowed to advertise drugs to consumers. "So, every day is a challenge to come up with new media," says Krishna.
"These kinds of ads are global, so if you can understand the concept without words, or with few words, then that's a killer concept," says Annie Wu, art supervisor at FCB Healthcare and a 2006 Rx Club Awards judge.
Mike Devlin, executive creative director at CCA Advertising, says that many of the ads that made him pause and smile came from BBDO Mexico, including "Cigarette Obsession"—developed for Pfizer's Nicorette—which shows how everyday activities, like drinking alcohol, present roadblocks to quitting smoking.
Design for the Times
There were fewer "slice of life" ads presented this year. Instead, more abstract, creative designs captured judges' attention. Ad execs kept things simple, choosing to forego text-heavy designs. The number of interactive and video entries were consistent with last year's submissions, but the actual number of winners dropped.