For Art’s Sake

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CREATIVE review

What’s black and white and read all over? It’s this innovative page stopper. Using monochrome graphics and powerful words this advertisement paints a colorful story to communicate what this product’s benefits really mean to individual patients and the doctors who manage them. There could be an argument to say this advertisement is copy led (and after all as it has been chosen by a copywriter so this would not be a surprise).But I believe that it employs visual
Brand:Campral EC
Client: Merck Pharmaceuticals
Debuted:February 2001
Agency:Medicus London
Art Director: Mark Robinson
Copy:David Easton

Campral dynamics as effectively as any reportage photograph could. It’s a raw, aggressive approach that captures the essence of being an alcohol dependent and the reality that Campral has on their lives. This is another reason why this advertisement gets my vote. Full color photography can fall into the trap of portraying alcoholic drinks as glamorous;obviously the creative team just didn’t want to go that way.The result is that in the glossy world of the medical journal this ad is a stark reminder of the reality of treating the alcohol dependent. Call it naive, or street art, or 60s graphics this is an advertisement that grabs your attention and shakes you until you’re stirred. Sue Blitz, head of copy,Langland,a fullservice healthcare advertising agency in the U.K.,says the ad’s copy is as visually dynamic as any photo graph could be — denoting a raw, aggressive approach that captures the essence of Campral EC’s benefits to alcoholdependent patients. Sue Blitz An innovative page stopper. single, focused message according to healthcare advertis ing executives is one of the most effective and challeng ing ways to communicate a brand’s attributes. Each ad depicted this month breaks through the clut ter in an unique way. Medicus London’s execution for Campral EC is striking in its aggressive use of copy and typography. Bold and powerful, yet the message is singular. The ad clearly denotes the stark reality that alcohol dependent patients face. William Dou glas McAdams’ ad for Lo/Ovral, created nearly 20 years ago, with stands the test of time. This ad is a prime example of how powerful a creative execution can be when it is rooted in strong strategy. FCB’s Chickenpox awareness campaign is another example of an ad that communicates the message quickly, concisely, and creatively, three metrics that all agencies aspire to do in their communication efforts.

A CREATIVE review The setting: 1984 — The creative team comes in to pitch a new concept.

Client:OK,what’s your big idea?
Agency: It’s really about nothing.
Client: So, the first thing we’ll see is …?
Agency:Nothing.
Client: Nothing?
Agency:You got it!

No, that wasn’t the original pitch for a Seinfeld episode. It was the McAdams creative team’s presentation to Wyeth on their oral contraceptive, Lo/Ovral: a brand with the benefit of an almost invisible — ”nearly spotless record”— of breakthrough bleeding. At a time when the competition among OCs was as heated as today’s statin or COX2 battles, an agency and its client dared to shout very quietly. I would like to have been there as they discussed the stark naked teaser page that would eat up a chunk of their media dollars. Surely, in an era in which special effects dominated the journals, the team would then bring things to life on the inside spread. Not a chance. No graphic. No color. And barely any copy. What made this ad stick in my mind for almost 18 years had as much to do with the leap of faith the client was willing to take as it did with the creativity

Brand:Lo/Ovral
Client: Wyeth Labs
Debuted:1984
Agency:William Douglas McAdams
Creative Director: TomHaynesLo/Ovral

Brand:Chickenpox Disease Awareness Campaign
Client: Merck & Co.
Debuted:1999
Agency:FCB, NewYork
Executive Creative Director: Rich Russo
Group Creative Director: Ellen Perless
Photographer:Steve Bronstein

Chickenpox Awareness of the agency team. I can only assume that the level of trust between the brand and agency teams was terrifically high. So here’s a salute to an agency and client who, after careful strategizing, took up a lot of space to put nothing in print and yet said everything that was needed. Rich Norman,chief creative officer, Adient (a Com monHealth company),a fullservice healthcare adver tising agency located in Wayne,N.J.,salutes the brand andagency teams for taking a leap of faith. Rich Norman A quiet shout. Fresh,clean,clear, concise, I get it. We hold our ads to the “5second test” and appreciate how difficult it is to be brief. Monica Noce Kanarek, executive VP,creative, at Donahoe Purohit Miller, a fullservice healthcare advertising agency in Chicago, takes the stand that brevity is best and not only for ads that pass the “5second test.” Monica Noce Kanarek

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