Marketing to Professionals: Appealing to Doctor's Emotions - Pharmaceutical Executive


Marketing to Professionals: Appealing to Doctor's Emotions

Pharmaceutical Executive

Science in the Spotlight

If the science is sexy, marketers can leave out emotional triggers.
Sometimes, science alone is sexy. This is particularly true when a revolutionary drug creates a whole new pharmacological category. Instead of searching for a more abstract, emotional link, marketers can focus on a product's functional attributes, especially at the beginning of a drug's lifecycle. Genentech's introduction of Avastin (bevacizumab) shows how dramatizing a poorly understood process—angiogenesis—can deliver a message that specialists can understand.

A new approach to the treatment of cancer, Avastin is a novel anti-angiogenic agent that slows the spread of the disease by suppressing the blood supply to the tumor. The campaign is based on a deceptively simple visual—a light switch on top of a tangle of arteries and veins. The ad copy reduces the science to a simple point: "When the Angiogenic Switch Turns Up Vessel Growth... Turn Down Angiogenesis...With Avastin." Because it is simple and visual, the ad communicates a clear and direct message to oncologists. The drug works by cutting off the blood supply to the tumors, preventing them from receiving the nutrients they need to grow and multiply throughout the body.

Engaging doctors from a scientific standpoint, the medical journal advertising campaign explains the process, and positions Avastin as the owner of the angiogenesis concept. The launch establishes the brand as an effective way to "switch off" tumor vessel growth.

Doctors' Choices Revealed

AMP honored this year's top-rated journal ads at The Doctors' Choice Awards.

For the third consecutive year, the Association of Medical Publications honored pharma companies and ad agencies for displaying excellence in journal advertising at The Doctors' Choice Awards. More than 7,500 prescribing physicians judged 300+ ads, representing the 200 most widely advertised products in 2004. The ads were judged on their ability to communicate, provide information, gain attention, and encourage action among doctors.

Salix's ad for Colozal (balsalizde), created by MedThink to promote the drug's effectiveness in treating ulcerative colitis, was the highest scoring single-page ad. Pfizer also walked away with three honors—two for Zyvox (linezolid) and another for Spiriva (tiotropium), which it jointly markets with Boehringer Ingelheim. Merck took home awards for Vytorin (ezetimibe/simvastatin) and Fosomax (alendronate) in the respective cardiovasculars and ob/gyn categories. Sanofi-Aventis won for Lantus (insulin) in the diabetes category and for Uroxatral (alfuzosin) in urologicals. Wyeth/Amgen's Enbrel (etanercept) took top place in anti-arthritics and dermatologicals.

On the agency side, FCB HealthCare won accolades for Lidoderm (lidocaine), Fosomax, and Valtrex (valacyclovir). Cline Davis & Mann's two-page Zyvox ad was the highest scoring; Harrison & Star won highest scoring for its four-page Avastin ad; Saatchi & Saatchi Healthcare won for Enbrel in the anti-arthritics category.


Jon Hussey
Ateb, which works on workflow and customer relationship management in the healthcare industry, chose CPRi as its agency of record. Vioptix, an optical diffusion imaging and spectroscopy company, selected Gibbs & Soell as its agency of record. Gibbs & Soell will also collaborate with KZE PharmAssociates to offer more thorough support to their clients. Mentus Life Science was named agency of record for Dowpharma. Sirtex Medical selected Ruder Finn as its agency of record.


David Trexler
Palio Communications won three awards in the Creativity 35 competition.


Jonathan Sackier
Michael K. Rock joined Advanced Medical Marketing Communications as director of medical affairs. Paul Saatsoglou joined Eisai as senior director of market research and business analytics. David Trexler joined as director of new products portfolio. WRB Communications promoted Denise Dixon to vice president of marketing and sales and hired Marianne Webdell as national sales manager. Palio Communications hired new staff: Jon Hussey as vice president and account director, Leanne Keough as studio writer, and Ajay Nair as account director. Justin Iacobucci joined Nature Clinical Practice as US Account Manager responsible for Nature Clinical Practice Endocrinology & Metabolism, Nature Clinical Practice Cardiovascular Medicine and Nature Clinical Practice Neurology. Jonathan Sackier joined GSW Worldwide as chief strategic medical officer.


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