Ad Stars 2011 - Pharmaceutical Executive

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Ad Stars 2011


Pharmaceutical Executive


Mind/Body Connection
Concentric Pharma Advertising

CLIENT: Salix Pharmaceuticals
BRAND: Xifaxan 550
AGENCY: Concentric Pharma Advertising
CREATIVE TEAM: Michael Sanzen, partner, executive creative director; Adam Cohen, creative director–art; Chris Runge, creative director–copy; Joel Deitz, associate creative director–art; Phoebe Bravakis: associate creative director–copy;
LEFT TO RIGHT: Joel Deitz; Ryan Craig, product manager, Salix; Adam Cohen; Matt Mitcho, associate brand director, Salix; Chris Runge



Have you ever played that game as a child when you look up at a cloud and name what you see? You might see a hedgehog while your friend sees a spaceship? Same cloud—different perspective. Some of the most successful advertising campaigns succeed because they can relay a sentiment in distinct ways to each and every consumer, while still delivering a clear, targeted message.



As Concentric Pharma Advertising—the creative team behind the Xifaxan 550 campaign—can attest, the connection one individual makes initially can vary greatly from that of another to the exact same imagery. Concentric was tasked to build a campaign around Salix Pharmaceuticals' drug for
hepatic encephalopathy (HE), a condition not widely known. HE affects brain function as the liver loses its ability to remove toxic substances in the gut.

"One of the big concepts surrounding the way Xifaxan 550 works is that it creates a lot of efficiencies. The compact fluorescent light bulb [we used] sort of looks like a gut, but it's also extremely efficient in the way that it solves the problem of lighting. So that was how our initial three different ideas came together to create this ad," says Ken Begasse, partner and COO, Concentric. But as the concept moved forward so did the placement of the bulb. "We realized the bulb also kind of looks like a cerebrum," says Chris Runge, group creative director, Concentric, "so we thought, 'Hey, this also says something about HE,' which of course is a disease that starts in the gut and then, because your liver is incompetent, starts to express itself in the brain."

Concentric went to market with several concepts, which, like images in a cloud, can elicit varying responses. "We tested this campaign with the bulb in the abdomen and in the head, because while it's positioned in the abdomen it becomes a bit more clear what it's supposed to be—at least in our opinion," says Mike Banner, managing partner and director of client services, Concentric. "But that connection between what's going on in the gut and the ultimate impact on a patient's cognitive ability is really what resonated with physicians. So they chose the execution of the bulb in the head as the most compelling."

But when a condition impairs cognition, it also affects how physicians treat it. "We needed physicians to open up their minds to the concept of treating HE with a pill like Xifaxan 550, as opposed to how they had been doing it for the last 30 years with lactulose," says Begasse. What, then, makes this ad so effective? "A simple iconic branding image paves the way for this really simple story. It helps physicians see treatment in a new way, and that's what we really needed to happen and it seems like that's working out very well." – JS


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Source: Pharmaceutical Executive,
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