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Early in my career I made a conscious effort to learn from the most talented people in the advertising and graphic design industry. I can remembergoing through healthcare magazines, religiously pulling out what I thought were the best ads and comparing mywork to them.One ad stopped me in my tracks, and to this day I have seen few ads that stand up to it. The ad was for Feldene. For DonMartiny,creative director at Dorland Sweeney Jones,a fullservice,healthcare advertising agency based in Philadelphia, this Feldene ad sets the standard for total execution. few ads stand up to this Brand: Feldene Sandpaper Ad Client: Pfizer Inc. Debuted:1984 Agency:Dorritie, Lyons and Nickel Art: Mike Lyons Copy:Bill Brown Feldene The ad featured a sandpaper knee joint. Mike Lyons and Bill Brownof the Dorritie, Lyons and Nickel (now Lyons Lavey Nickel Swift) agency were the two creative minds behind this piece of work. The ad was smart,quick, and flawlessly executed right down to the paper choice.Most ads at the time politely asked to be noticed; this one aggres sively demanded the reader’s attention. It could be felt viscerally. As a creative director, I’ve learned to take chances.This bold ad took a chance with its audience of drug prescribers for arthritis patients. For me, its brilliance also set the foundation for a career in advertising where I recently landed the new position of creative director at Dorland Sweeney Jones. DonMartiny he creative product that starts on the drawing board rarely resembles the final product that appears in the pages of medical trade journals and consumer magazines. The disconnect often occurs when pharmaceutical clients, who tend to be conservative, and creative agency executives, who tend to be, well not conservative, compro mise on concepts. And more often than not, the creative product gets lost in the business of sell ing billiondollar drugs. For creative directors, finding the right mix of art and copy can be an agonizing process. But when the two mesh, the experience is exhilarating, especially when the client signs off on the concept. Creative directors have a greater appreciation for what separates good creative from great creative. Because business today moves so fast for an ad to have true stopping power, it must have powerful elements.
This month, PharmaVoice is providing a forum to showcase outstanding examples of the creative process. In this issue, three creative directors have identified pharmaceutical ads that they believe have the right stuff — a combination of great art, great copy, and great execution. Each ad is accompanied by a short narrative explaining why the ad is special. For example, the Feldane ad showcased below, which was developed by the New York healthcare agency Dorritie, Lyons and Nickel (now Lyons Lavey Nickel Swift), is aggres sive in its approach. The ad demands the reader’s attention in a visceral way. The Risperdal ad, which debuted in 1997, was developed by the U.K.based healthcare agency, Junction 11 Advertising. This ad, which was considered ground breaking four years ago, still stands the test of time. In keeping with our editorial mission, we encourage those of you involved in the creative process to submit samples of work that you believe has stopping power. PharmaVoice welcomes your suggestions and input. T 53 PharmaVOICE J u l y / A ug u s t 20 01 CREATIVE review Psychosis damages more than the mind. It has the power to destroy families and friendships. Any product that addresses this tragic disease state inevitably must deal with all the relationships surrounding the victim — caregivers, loved ones, neighbors. What I like about this Risperdal ad is that it evokes the tragic repercussions of mental illness in a powerful,empathetic way,yet without a hint of patronization. Interestingly, this campaign,created in the Unit ed Kingdom, is substantively different from cam paigns in other international markets.A missed opportunity? Only the global brand manager knows for sure. Every element of the ad hits exactly the right executional note:from the pinched feel of the ragged typewriter type pasted down agonizingly, line by crooked line, across the wrenchingly realistic pho tograph, to the economically written, unflinchingly matter offact copy, to the clinical choice offered to the physi cian.The ad all rings terribly, Benefits for both doctor and patient are bal anced in this effective,emotional singlepage exe cution for Pfizer’s Alzheimer’s drug Aricept.The left headline promises to achieve the professional’s key clinical goal — maintaining cognitive function — and the right headline translates that statement into a human benefit: the ability of a grandma (per haps a greatgrandma) to participate meaningfully in life. And let’s not forget the child, who gets to know and love an elder whose hold on cognition is supported by Aricept. This ad is a powerful extension of the brand’s John Scott Brand:Aricept — “Bedtime Story” Ad Client: Pfizer and Eisai Debuted: 2000 Agency:Lyons Lavey Nickel Swift Art: Mark Inaba and Peter Jesse Copy:Alice Ruvane andToddNeuhaus Aricept Brand: Risperdal Client: Janssen Pharmaceutica Debuted:1997 Agency: Junction 11 Advertising Art: JohnTimney Copy:Richard Rayment Risperdal harrowingly true,managing to capture the pain the illness brings both to the patient and to all those in his orbit. The final element, the theme line, signs off the ad with a touch of irony which, out of context might seem frivolous, but here seems to give just the right lift of hope:from psychotic to cool, calm and collected. A serious promise, indeed. This is an ad that took deeply empathetic,but dryeyed commitment to create,and real courage to approve. Both agency and client are to be con gratulated. John Scott, executiveVP and chief creative officer of Corbett Healthcare Group, aChicagobased health care agency, believes this Risperdal ad exactly hits the right executional note. launch campaign,which promised to help an elderly couple’s “walk down memory lane last a little longer.”The sepia tone of the photography of the launch ad is missing here, a change likely made for good reason.The launch campaign was more about the couple’s collective memory, and there fore sepia lent a nostalgic, even elegiac tone that doesn’t fit with the child. But removing the sepia tone also took away some of the launch ad’s visual distinctiveness.The maroon from the original campaign is still here,along with the tag line, “Therapy to remember.”Boy, I wish I wrote that. Brendan Ward,creative partner at ReganCampbell Ward,a fullservice, healthcare advertising agency based in NewYork,was drawn by Aricept’s distinctive copy. Boy, I wish I wrote that. I wish I’d done that ad! BrendanWard