Ad Stars 2011 - Pharmaceutical Executive

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Ad Stars 2011


Pharmaceutical Executive


Extra Helping Hand
Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness

CLIENT: AstraZeneca
BRAND: Seroquel XR
AGENCY: Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness
CREATIVE TEAM: Stuart Fink, senior vp, creative director; Bev Pangilinan, vp, art supervisor; Paul Schmidt, vp, copy supervisor LEFT TO RIGHT: Bev Pangilinan, Paul Schmidt



"What we recognize is that there are approximately 14 million patients in the United States who have depression, and for some of those patients who try an antidepressant therapy but still have unresolved symptoms, there's more they can do," says Christopher Johnson, consumer brand director for Seroquel XR at AstraZeneca. It's that extra need that makes Seroquel XR and its new advertising campaign a conversation-starter between patient and physician.



For the person suffering from depression, it seems they can never escape the dark cloud they feel follows them on a daily basis. The poignant image—never mentioned by name—found in the advertising created by Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness for Seroquel XR is the perfect example. AstraZeneca felt there was no need for anyone to remain under that cloud. "We wanted to let people know that they could talk to their doctors about adding Seroquel XR to their current antidepressant. We needed people to know that they did not have to settle; they did not have to stop what they were doing. In fact, they could merely add something to their current treatment for a diminishing or perhaps relief of symptoms—and that's a very important point," according to Stuart Fink, senior VP and creative director, Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness.

The Seroquel XR multimedia campaign has been seen in print, online, and in television spots since the beginning of the year. A cloud hovers just behind the sufferer, tailing them as they go about their day. "What we know is that major depressive disorder affects millions of people in this country and it does not discriminate by age or by sex or gender," says Fink, a point touched upon within the demographics of the ad itself. "I think we uncovered through the research that we did that this idea of a hovering storm cloud as a representation of a person's unresolved symptoms was something that was relevant and relatable," continues Johnson. "I think watching patients respond [in testing] to the cloud as a visual embodiment of one's unresolved symptoms of depression ... was a powerful way to dimensonalize that idea."

AstraZeneca received support and feedback along the way during the creative process from the Depression & Bipolar Support Alliance and the National Alliance on Mental Illness, as well as with primary care physicians, psychiatrists, and patients, helping to confirm the effectiveness of the ad's imagery. But it all came down to education, to getting the patient to realize there are options out there, and that they should speak with their doctors.

"When you finally put all the pieces together, to see something that is powerful and real and captivating and differentiating in the category, that was the moment that let us know that we felt that we had created something quite special," says Fink. "The idea of a dark cloud hovering over one's head was something that really resonated for this patient population. It was rewarding to hear that we had, together with the AstraZeneca brand team, created something that spoke to the visual embodiment of depression." – JS


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Source: Pharmaceutical Executive,
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