Saatchi & Saatchi

Mar 01, 2010
By Pharmaceutical Executive

A Solid Choice
Saatchi & Saatchi
BRAND Seroquel XR CLIENT AstraZeneca


FROM LEFT: Paul Schmidt, VP, copy supervisor, Ian Fearn, art supervisor
After doing a ton of research, Saatchi & Saatchi realized that people dealing with bipolar depression feel like they are spectators in their own lives. They said they were literally "consumed" by their condition. The S&S team struck upon the notion that people feel as though they are fading into the background. At first, this was just a phrase to inspire them, but it soon became actual content with an ad campaign depicting people melding into the background of their everyday lives.

Bipolar depression is a new term for the consumer audience, so the campaign had to be as much about education as it was about medication. The ad team did a stunning job setting a tone and mood that made viewers turn to the TV and say "That's me, that's what I feel like, and now it has it's name." When the phrase "bipolar depression" was put in front of patients in testing there was an immediate head nod.

"We didn't just want to tell people that depression hurts, and that it hurts others. We wanted consumers to literally feel the fading and see themselves in the ad," says Helayne Spivak, chief creative officer. However, the television ads remain respectful to the patient population. The players in the commercial are simply going through their daily routine as portions of their body turn opaque and blend into whatever is behind them, be it a couch, bus seat, or grocery stand. The result is a powerful segment that resonates with sufferers and regular viewers alike.