BRAND Vesicare CLIENT Astellas/GlaxoSmithKline
Launched in March 2005, the Vesicare "Pipe People" are one of the few pharma icons to transcend the medical industry. Okay,
they might not be as recognizable as Tony the Tiger or Snuggles the Bear, but they have outlasted most of the quirky creatures
born out of healthcare marketing. According to the ad team behind the pipes, the ad is so popular because people who suffer
from an overactive bladder truly get what the ad represents. The metaphor has been successful in conveying the key ideas of
the brand and playing to patients' emotional needs.
FROM LEFT: Rich Roth, executive creative director, Bill Previdi, senior art director, Phil Silvestri, executive creative director
Using pipe people allows the sufferer to relate to the condition and their symptoms without feeling exposed, and it puts the
onus on the pipes instead of the patient. The ad helps make the patients feel better about themselves and their condition,
and encourages them to go to the doctor.
"One of the things that people really like about the ad is that it allows them to talk about a condition they don't always
understand," says Jona Han, strategic planning director. "Now they can talk about it without feeling embarrassed."
To keep the campaign fresh, the agency shifted the message from being about the disease state to focusing more on lifestyle.
Case in point: The latest execution depicts female pipes walking with shopping bags and little pipe puppies. Within consumer
advertising, it's tough to get people to remember a brand, no matter what it is. EuroRSCG is proud to admit that the pipe
people have become a truly memorable image that goes hand in hand with the brand.