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Pharmaceutical Executive's Ad Stars


Pharmaceutical Executive

Pharmaceutical ExecutivePharmaceutical Executive-04-01-2006
Volume 0
Issue 0

In 2005, healthcare advertising hit a new level of refinement in strategy and sophistication in execution. Even better, it reached a new place, where promotion and education sit comfortably together. Brand teams are growing and learning, particularly about using emotion to inspire action.

In 2005, healthcare advertising hit a new level of refinement in strategy and sophistication in execution. Even better, it reached a new place, where promotion and education sit comfortably together. Brand teams are growing and learning, particularly about using emotion to inspire action.

Our goal was to find not just the most effective and innovative ads, but ads that point the way toward the future of pharma advertising. To find them, we flipped through hundreds of magazines, scoured Web sites, and glued ourselves to the TV, then phoned dozens of industry thought leaders, ad experts, and others to hear what was on their minds. On the pages that follow, you'll meet the teams behind the ads we finally selected.

Honoring the most innovative ads in 2005—and the people who created them As you'd expect, they're talented and creative. They're more, too. Whether they're teaching about a disease mechanism, persuading a shy patient that it's okay to talk about an embarrassing condition, or translating clinical data into concrete human terms, these folks play a vital role in getting medicines to patients. It's like we said: They'restars.

Play Ball


BRAND Viagra CLIENT Pfizer LEFT TO RIGHT: Willy Matos, director of production; Luz de Armas, executive creative director; and Charles Pinedo, senior account executive NOT PICTURED: Anabella Illarramendi, senior art director

For some, erectile dysfunction ads come on way too strong. When they do, companies lose the ability to break through to consumers. One particularly tough market to reach is Latino men, whose culture of machismo makes sexual problems almost a taboo subject. Hispanamerica took a new tack to promote Viagra to this audience. The team created educational brochures based on sports analogies—such as "understand your opponent" and "speak to your coach"—to give these men a way to talk about erectile dysfunction.

"We tried to create a comfort zone for men by using the universal language of sports and a guy-to-guy tonality," says Luz de Armas. Indeed, the only "sexy" image included is on the brochure's last page, which features a couple cuddling demurely on a park bench.

Ring Bearer

Heartbeat Digital

BRAND NuvaRing CLIENTOrganon LEFT TO RIGHT: Reed Lubin, associate director, Internet communications, Organon; TRACY ANN MORROW, senior account director, Heartbeat Digital; Scott De Nino, art director, Heartbeat Digital; and Linda Stamler, brand manager, Organon

In the already-saturated contraceptive market, establishing a two-inch wide vaginal ring presented a challenge—particularly given that most birth control pills are already 99 percent effective. But Organon felt the therapy offered women benefits, particularly because they only needed to think about it once a month. In any case, the company wanted females to try the product, and tapped Heartbeat Digital to deliver some innovative tactics to encourage usage.

The first step was to make women stop and think about their current method of birth control, says Tracy Ann Morrow. The agency created a banner ad that posed the question simply: "Not loving your birth control?" By posing the question, it invited consumers to click through and seek more information from the NuvaRing Web site. Once on the site, visitors had access to free trial vouchers for the product, which they could print out and take to their pharmacist, after receiving a prescription from their doctor.

Heartbeat Digital did its homework and knew its target audience of 30-plus women. "The ad is based on a full media strategy of knowing where these women go online," says Morrow. The ads appeared on Yahoo.com, Parenting.com, MSNBChealth.com, and other sites.

The banner and voucher concept worked like a charm. The company saw an average voucher conversion rate of 14.5 percent. It also gave women who felt skeptical about NuvaRing the impetus to give it a try.



BRAND Rozerem CLIENT Takeda Pharmaceuticals LEFT TO RIGHT: Mike Fine, senior copywriter; Therese Maginot, senior art director; Andy Manilow, senior copywriter; and Stephen Neale, creative director

Ever just crave a decent night of sleep? Well, you're not alone—there are a lot of tired people out there. According to the National Institutes of Health, insomnia affects more than 70 million Americans, and Datamonitor reports that two-thirds of all insomnia sufferers go untreated.

The sleep market holds lots of potential for brands—if companies can create awareness of their drugs, up against Sanofi-Aventis' blockbusters Ambien (zolpidem) and Ambien CR, which have overwhelmingly dominated the sleep market.

Abelson-Taylor knew that to break through to healthcare professionals and create awareness of Rozerem (ramelteon), which entered the sleep category in July 2005, it needed to exploit the significant advantage it held over its competitors.

"We wanted to emphasize our position in the market, which is that Rozerem is the first approved sleep drug that doesn't have addictive effects," says Stephen Neale. While other drugs in the category have since come out with the same message, "we were the first to point that out in such an absolute fashion," he says.

To convey its unique positioning, the four-page Rozerem ad first features an ominous sky—the opposite of Lunesta (eszopiclone) and other brands, which convey calm— with a person sleeping under a floating Schedule IV symbol, which is a classification given by the Drug Enforcement Administration for drugs that demonstrate a potential for abuse. "We wanted to portray that getting a good night sleep can be threatening, with that threat being addiction," Neale says. The second image features a tranquil sky with a person sleeping inside a floating zero—with copy saying the drug has zero risk for abuse.

Mesmerizing Moth

Echo Torre Lazur

BRAND Lunesta CLIENT Sepracor LEFT TO RIGHT: Tracy Blackwell, EVP, executive creative director/copy; John DePalma, VP, senior creative director/art; and Juan Ramos, EVP, executive creative director/art

The effervescent luna moth flies through the deep, purple, starry night. The moth is gentle, natural, and comforting—just like sleep should be. Below, a woman embodies those characteristics as she sleeps soundly in her plush bed.

Most Memorable DTC Ads

While there's no perfect formula for creating a strong brand, by creating a signature icon that breaks through the clutter, Echo Torre Lazur has discovered a strategy for Lunesta that just may be close.

When asked how the agency chose the moth, it said it was a matter of course: Luna moths are one of the few creatures of the night that aren't spooky, scary-looking, or loud. In fact, they're quite beautiful.

Certainly, the consumer ads have resonated with consumers. The TV spot ranks as the best-recalled ad of 2005 (see "Most Memorable DTC Ads," left). But the agency brought that unique branding and visual sensibility to all physician touchpoints through an aggressive advertising campaign that moved the needle on market share.

In fact, Sepracor spent more than $10 million on professional advertising in 2005, compared with just over $4 million for Rozerem, according to PERQ/HCI. However, it maintains that it has seen a healthy return on that investment: In 2005, the drug captured a 7.7 percent share of the sleep market, according to IMS.

Further, because the moth imagery appears consistently in both the DTC and professional campaigns, it has come to embody the brand.

"It's amazing how quickly the icon has emerged as a powerful and enduring symbol," says Tracy Blackwell. "It helps Lunesta stand apart in a crowded marketplace."

Paradise Lost

BBDO New York

BRAND Malarone CLIENT GlaxoSmithKline LEFT TO RIGHT: Scott Carouge, creative director; Ed Maslow, senior creative director; and Dan Sullivan, senior copywriter

Malaria exists, even where most travelers think it doesn't. "You'll find malaria in the most idyllic and beautiful places," says Scott Carouge. Certainly, malaria is the most prevalent in Africa, but the reality is malaria exists in more than 100 countries. From the lush jungles of Central America to the serene beaches of Southeast Asia, flesh-hungry, malaria-infected mosquitoes have infiltrated many of our favorite vacation spots.

To better inform travelers, the BBDO team created a campaign for Malarone (atovaquone/proguanil) featuring a glossy image of paradise. But they also inserted a dose of reality—a tiny mosquito on a sunbather's toe and a yellow sign signaling caution. The ad was not intended to scare consumers, Carouge says. "It was meant to make consumers wiser and smarter about the disease and more protectful of themselves," he says.

"When they're in a hammock on the beach, they are not thinking about malaria," Carouge says. "Their minds are in a totally different place."

To Itch His Own

GSW Worldwide

BRAND Protopic CLIENT Astellas LEFT TO RIGHT:Dean Tepper, senior vice president, group creative director; David Sonderman, senior vice president, creative director; Katie Beller, associate creative director; and Kelly Seymour, group art supervisor

GSW found that many doctors don't take eczema seriously. "Doctors determine whether the eczema is mild or severe, but they may not understand that even having a mild case of eczema can be very annoying and embarrassing," says David Sonderman. And that affects how often they're willing to prescribe a medication to treat the disease.

GSW created an empathic campaign to sensitize physicians. For a child, "a small patch of eczema becomes a big deal if it makes the child bleed and cry all night," he says. The ads also addressed how the condition can make adults feel self-conscious. "We wanted to find a moment where it would be particularly embarrassing for someone to scratch his back," he says. A job interview wholly captures that moment.

Attention Getter

Greater Than One

BRAND Strattera CLIENT Eli Lilly LEFT TO RIGHT: Tae Sayama, associate designer; Amanda Powers, director of account services; Wanda Lau, art director; and Marc Baller, copywriter

The Web used to be a peripheral element in the media mix, with TV scooping up most of the DTC dollars. But even now that companies are paying more attention to the Internet, few have been brave enough to make it the focus of their campaigns. But the campaign for Strattera (atomoxetine) made the jump, and in the process, educated adults about attention deficit disorder (ADD).

"Because we had such a strong goal of driving people to the Web site, we wanted to make sure our creative executions inspired them to do just that," says Amanda Powers.

Greater Than One created a Web banner that depicts the Mona Lisa, which starts to deteriorate into an unfinished sketch. "We wanted to take something that symbolized a great accomplishment and imply that the condition could be a barrier to achieving this masterpiece," says Powers.

The banner drives visitors to an online screener to determine if they have ADD symptoms. Sixty-two percent of visitors completed the screener, and more than 750,000 new patients have been diagnosed and treated since the campaign's launch.

Hard Times, Soft Sell

RTC Relationship Marketing

BRAND Levitra CLIENT Schering-Plough LEFT TO RIGHT: Freddie McKenna, associate creative director; ROB ULLIMAN, VP, creative director; and Matt Connor, executive creative director

To soften the hard-to-tackle issue of erectile dysfunction, RTC Relationship Marketing decided to try a new tactic in the category. "You can have a very different conversation about ED in animation—you can say a lot of things you couldn't with live people," says Rob Ullman.

"Cartoon characters create a comfortable distance from reality," says Freddie McKenna, who mentions that some people may even feel uncomfortable seeing an actual couple in bed. "It takes the onus away from them and gives them a reason to go to their doctor."

Feeling the Burn

GSW Worldwide

BRAND unbranded CLIENT Tap Pharmaceuticals LEFT TO RIGHT: ANDY SPITZER, SVP, group creative director; Randall Montgomery, art director; and Dennis Leahy, associate creative director

Talk to gout patients, and you're likely to hear the same descriptions GSW Worldwide did when researching the painful joint disorder—somewhere between "feels like needles poking at your joints" to likening the disease to a "burning sensation."

The GSW creative team used those consumer insights to create unbranded gout ads, which feature three pairs of feet. However, in each ad, one foot takes on an alarming form: a cactus, a blowtorch, and five dynamite sticks for toes. "We wanted to use strong, simple images that represent the unique pain that gout patients feel," says Randall Montgomery.

Intriguing Icons 2005

Stopping Power


BRAND unbranded CLIENT Eli Lilly LEFT TO RIGHT: Amelia Rosner, copywriter; Cynthia Rothbard, art director

With its powerful images, to-the-point messaging, and ability to get consumers to self-identify, FCB's unbranded TV spot supporting depression awareness spread the word that there are both emotional and physical aspects of depression.

"People talk about the emotional side of depression or the biological elements—but no one talks about the painful physical symptoms," says Lilly's Ann Cunningham, manager of DTC for the depression treatment, Cymbalta (duloxetine). "Our goal with the campaign was to share the news that depression does have painful physical symptoms in a way that resonates."

The first step was to dispel the many myths surrounding depression. "People think they understand when and where depression hurts, but in reality, there is a bigger story that needs to be told," says Cynthia Rothbard. "It can hurt many people and in many different places."

To express this notion, FCB developed a comprehensive, yet simple and effective, tagline: "Depression Hurts." "It's honest and clear," says Amelia Rosner. "It doesn't overwhelm people with information—but it engages them."

There is also a real sense of authenticity to the TV ads, which feature a variety of people suffering from depression—from a man who winces as he grabs his shoulder, to a child watching his mother wearing a hopeless frown. "We wanted to portray real people," says Rothbard. "It was important for our audience to really be able to see themselves in these men and women."

What did the client think?

Ann Cunningham

"Depression looks like so many different things to different people. The challenge was to depict these people in an authentic way. The creative team did a great job of addressing that," says Ann Cunningham, manager of DTC for Eli Lilly's Cymbalta. "We made the TV portion of the campaign unbranded so it wouldn't distract consumers from our message. The public likes to hear news about their health and not necessarily about a drug right off the bat," says Stacy Miller, associate marketing consultant of DTC for Eli Lilly's Cymbalta.

Stacy Miller

Dignity Restored

GSW Junction 11

BRAND ReQuip CLIENT GlaxoSmithKline LEFT TO RIGHT: Richard Rayment, creative director; Liz Spencer, studio manager; and John Timney, creative director

A ds that appeal to our emotions can be very powerful. But they take innovation, a strong base of research, and ultimately, finesse, to create. That didn't slow down the all-star creative team at GSW Junction 11, which developed the "Hands" campaign to appeal to doctors' softer sides. The print ads feature close-ups of the hands of people with Parkinson's Disease, who, with the help of ReQuip (ropinirole), are able to do the most mundane activities. From wrapping a present to holding a baby, "the ads express the importance of being able to do the small, everyday things that most of us take for granted," says Richard Rayment.

A Sister's Touch

Wunderman and MBC

BRAND unbranded CLIENT AstraZeneca LEFT TO RIGHT: Martha Savitsky, VP, creative supervisor, Wunderman; Scott Reese, interactive creative director, MBC; Claire Nixon, copywriter, MBC; and Barbara Newman, VP, creative supervisor NOT PICTURED: Tena Geysel, associate, creative director, Young & Rubicam

When dealing with a serious topic like breast cancer, it's important to achieve the right tone. To that end, Wunderman, Young & Rubicam, and Medical Broadcasting Company (MBC), tapped by AstraZeneca to create an educational campaign, decided not to mince words. Instead, they asked real-life breast cancer survivors to share their stories.

The resulting unbranded campaign, "If You Were My Sister," educated women about the risk of breast cancer recurrence and how to reduce it among survivors. "Most women don't know that they have a 20 to 50 percent chance of getting the cancer back within the first five years of diagnosis," says Lisa Feher, senior vice president, group account director at Wunderman.

The Web site further customizes disease information. "A newly diagnosed patient in their first round of chemotherapy has different needs than someone who's in their third year of cancer," says MBC's Scott Reese. "We wanted to create a format that spoke to all types of survivors and took into account the idea of sisterhood in a very real way."

Girl Talk

Anderson DDB

BRAND Alesse CLIENT Wyeth LEFT TO RIGHT: ABRAHAM ZACHARIAH, associate creative director; LOU-ANNE GAUDINO, account director; Monica Broekhoven, associate creative director; and Ron Hudson, creative director

Teenage girls practically speak a different language. Anderson DDB, the agency behind the Canadian Web site for the contraceptive Alesse (levonorgestrel/ethinyl estradiol), made it their mission to understand them. "Alesse is seen as a hip, cool, and funky brand," says Monica Broekhoven. "We wanted to maintain that image and speak to these girls at their level."

Teenage girls spend a lot of time in their bedrooms, so the creative team designed one on the brand's homepage. "The bedroom is where girls are most comfortable," she says.

The site's navigation is built into the bedroom, allowing visitors to click throughout the room to get information. Our favorite: click on the night table—where girls may keep contraceptives—and they'll learn about safe sex.

This site also fills in educational gaps. "These girls don't necessarily ask the right questions when they go to the doctor's office," says Lou-Anne Gaudino. "The site offers them a credible, interactive resource that they can use to educate themselves and stay compliant."

Mucus Maven

Adams Advertising Group

BRAND Mucinex CLIENT Adams Respiratory Therapeutics PICTURED: STEPHEN GRAFF, executive creative director

People love to hate Mr. Mucus, the infamous, luggage-carrying icon for Mucinex who "moves in" to people's lungs. "He's a tongue-and-cheek character, who technically is the enemy," says Stephen Graff. "But he makes mucus interesting."

He also gives a little consumer insight into how the drug works. "We wanted to show that the active ingredient in Mucinex (guaifenesin) does more than just cover up symptoms—it breaks up the mucus to stop congestion," he says. That's why the final image in the TV and print ads entails a patient coughing up Mr. Mucus.

"Before Mr. Mucus, consumers didn't know what Mucinex was. There was little consumer awareness and recall," Graff says. "Now, he's becoming a household name."

We hope you enjoyed this year'sPharm Exec Ad Stars! Don’t forgetto keep us updated with yourpromotional plans by e-mailingnmetzler@advanstar.com

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