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Merck Takes Top Honors At PhAME Awards


Pharmaceutical Executive

Pharmaceutical ExecutivePharmaceutical Executive-05-07-2008
Volume 0
Issue 0

Consumer advertising might be taking a hit in the media and Congress, but pharma was all smiles at this year's PhAME Awards as the best DTC campaigns took the spotlight

Thursday was a big night for Merck and DDB, as the drug company and its agency took home a fistful of awards for various parts of the Gardasil campaign during the 10th Annual Pharmaceutical Advertising and Marketing Excellence Awards (PhAME) gala event at the Guggenheim Museum. Other multiple award winners included AstraZeneca and Saatchi & Saatchi. (Click for a complete list of winners)

While awards winners ran the gamut of campaigns, the biggest change in marketing styles was the move from general awareness campaigns to ads that that focus on how consumers process information in complex disease categories. In these categories, consumers have longer periods of time to acquire information before the initial steps in seeking therapy. Merck's campaign for Gardasil, which took top television ad honors, is an example of this marketing strategy.

"I was very impressed with the depth of the campaign that Merck did with Gardasil," said Laurie Casaday, senior manager for brand corporate affairs at AZ. "They approached the campaign from all different priorities, and they did such a great job raising the awareness of HPV among teenage girls and their mothers."

From Facebook to movie theaters to print and television, Merck and DDB hit traditional as well as new media, drawing in consumers with a powerful campaign that featured young girls empowered to talk about the human papilloma virus (HPV). Since June of 2006, when Gardasil launched, there have been more than 26 million doses of the drug distributed worldwide.

"When I think about Gardasil, the entire approach is to make sure we get as many appropriate people vaccinated as possible," said David Schechter, executive director, Merck vaccines and infectious disease. "We looked at innovative and creative approaches to get to the consumers, and have them take action and talk to their healthcare professionals."

Celebrating New Media
Over the years, PhAME has been quick to include award categories for new advertising methods, including online and integrated campaigns. This year was no different.

"I think the biggest change we've seen is the growing sophistication in how pharma?which doesn't have a long history in pharmaceutical advertising?has evolved to better understand consumer behavior and reflect that in the integration of better consumer marketing plans," said Tom Mangano, assistant vice president of communications and e-business at Wyeth. (Mangano has been an executive committee member of PhAME for the past five years.)

While AstraZeneca was lauded for everything from best public relations campaign to best in-office program, the company is proud of its Best Interactive Campaign award for Celebration Chain, a branded Web site that got people to make digital paper dolls in honor of loved ones with breast cancer. For every doll made, AZ donated a dollar to charity.

"In the future, we're going to see a lot more campaigns like Celebration Chain," said Denise Campbell, senior director of consumer marketing at AZ. "

As the emerging digital landscape continues to change, and we continue to live in a world with consumer-generated media, we are going to be continually working together as an industry to figure out how to make that work in a responsible manner."

2008 First Place

  • Best Branded TV—Gardasil, Merck & Co., DDB New York
  • Best Branded Print—Gardasil, Merck & Co., DDB New York
  • Best Integrated Campaign—Gardasil, Merck & Co., DDB, Rapp Collins
  • Best Multicultural Campaign—Una Menos, Merck & Co., Prime Access
  • Best Relationship Marketing—Pulmicort, AstraZeneca, Saatchi & Saatchi
  • Best New Product Introduction—Pataday, Alcon Laboratories, Draftfcb
  • Best Public Relations Campaign—Us Against Athero, AstraZeneca, Edelman
  • Best Interactive Campaign—Celebration Chain, AstraZeneca, Digitas Health
  • Best Unbranded Campaign—Suboxone—Bus Shelter, Reckitt Benckiser, CommonHealth
  • Best Media Plan—Cymbalta, Eli Lilly and Company, Draftfcb & Greater Than One
  • Best In-Office/In-Pharmacy—Pulmicort, AstraZeneca, Saatchi & Saatchi Consumer Health
  • Public Health Award—"I Stand with Magic", Abbott, Ogilvy & Mather
  • Agency of the Year—DDB
  • Marketer of the Year—Merck 2008 2nd Place
  • Best Branded TV—Cymbalta, Eli Lilly, Draftfcb
  • Best Branded Print—Orencia, Bristol Myers Squibb, MRM Gillespie
  • Best Integrated Campaign—Orencia, Bristol Myers Squibb, MRM Gillespie
  • Best Multi-Cultural Campaign—"I Am" Campaign, AstraZeneca, UniWorld Group
  • Best Relationship Marketing—Valtrex, GlaxoSmithKline, ARD Marketing & Real Age
  • Best New Product Introduction—Vyvanse, Shire, Cadient Group
  • Best Public Relations Campaign—The Many Faces of Breast Cancer, AstraZeneca, Zeno Group
  • Best Interactive Campaign—APositiveLife.com, GlaxoSmithKline, imc2
  • Best Interactive Campaign—FluFlix Video Campaign, Novartis Vaccines, Cadient Group
  • Best Unbranded Ad ?Plavix "Map", Bristol Myers/Sanofi-Aventis, MRM Gillespie
  • Best Media Plan—"Fit Nation", AstraZeneca, Zenithmedia
  • Best In-Office/In-Pharmacy—"Right Place, Right Time", Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, Ogilvy
  • Public Health Award—Reyataz Photo Contest, Bristol Myers Squibb, Euro RSCG
  • Agency of the Year—Draftfcb
  • Agency of the Year—Saatchi & Saatchi
  • Marketer of the Year—AstraZeneca 2008 3rd Place
  • Best Branded TV—Orencia, Bristol Myers Squibb, MRM Gillespie
  • Best Branded Print—Plavix, Sanofi-Aventis/Bristol Myers, Saatchi & Saatchi Consumer Health
  • Best Unbranded Ad—"I Stand With Magic", Abbott, Ogilvy & Mather
  • Best In-Office/In-Pharmacy—Small Steps to Manage Diabetes, Eli Lilly and Company, GreyBack to top
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