For Art’s Sake

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The Procardia ad series of the early 80s set a visual standard for me.They represent the classic pharmaceutical ad. Elegant in design and function,the Cadillac of eyetracking perfection creative director, Sudler & Hennessey,New York,the series of Procardia ads, which ran almost 20 years ago,embody a perfect combination of art direction and copy writing — setting a visual standard. Brand:Procardia Client: Pfizer Product Manager: John Leone Debuted:1982 Agency:Dorritie,Lyons and Nickel Art Director:TomVelardi Copy:Carol Shepko Photographer:BobWalsh Procardia and probably one of the first to brand with a consistent color theme. This precomputer ad really shows the talent of the art director and the writer. The headline type is consciously kerned to “tightnotouching” perfection.The body copy is nicely designed into two simple columns, resting confidently on the large Procardia logo. The copy actually tells a story that compliments and enhances the dramatic visual on the left page , which commands attention. (Who needs all of that fairbalance stuff anyway?) This was one of a series of five consecutive ads (boy, who does that anymore?) that ran with similar dramatic black & white shots of heart clutching situations. Each headline brought the visuals to life. Each visual made the copy shout. These ads have the “bones” of what good pharmaceutical advertising should be. According to Joe Paumi, executive VP, executive Joe Paumi These ads have the “bones” … For Art’s Sake of pharmaceuticals strikes the right chord. He says by avoiding the cliche of drugged out teens, the ad hits this group where it counts — their social life and selfesteem. he best of the old and the new make their way into this month’s column. Interestingly, the old are two ads that made their debut in the 1980s, the new ad is very new — making its way into the media this year. All three have a common element — strong art direction. For Joe Paumi, the Procardia series of ads, which debuted in the early 1980s, set a visual standard and represent classic pharmaceutical advertising. “Each headline brought the visual to life,” Mr. Paumi says. “Each visual made the copy shout.” Tying together great copy and great art is the hallmark of great pharmaceutical advertising. Chuck DeMarco says the Demulen ad (the second time this ad has been featured) remains inspirational, even after 20 years. According to Mr. DeMarco the clean, quick message is one that cuts through the clutter in a way that leaves an impression with the physician, making the sales rep’s job a bit easier. Tackling a public health crisis is never easy. Yet, according to Rick Schneider, this publicservice advertisement that addresses teen drug abuse T CREATIVE review Brand:Public Service Client: Purdue Pharma Debuted:2002 Agency:North Castle Partners Creative Director:Steve Garbett and Steve Mark Art: Kit Campbell Copy:Steve Tredennick Public Service Brand:Demulen 1/35 Contender Client: G.D.Searle &Co. Debuted:NA Agency:Medicus Art: John Hegquist,Caroline Cooper Copy:Steven Gold Demulen memorable piece of publicservice advertising. Rick Schneider,VP,creative director, Leverte Associates, a full service healthcare agency located in Westport, Conn.,applauds the agency and companyon a smart execution that addresses anational concern. Rick Schneider It’s obvious that we live in an age of noise and shortattention span.Physicians have even more things in their life to distract them.This makes it even more imperative that our messages hit them between the eyes and deliver enough of an impression that they will remember the brand long enough to connect with pharmaceutical reps. After 20 years, this ad for Demulen still is show ing us how. It’s a great ad, the kind you dream of writing for any audience in any discipline. Quick. Clean.Humor that makes the point in an inoffensive way.A simple graphic paired with a wonderful use of a familiar, wistful quote.A tag line that hammers everything all home.Come to think of it, this isn’t just an ad, it’s a billboard.The fact that the creative team accomplished all this in a “sensi tive”category makes it even sweeter. It’s interesting that this ad was created in the 1980s. I still look to it for inspiration and to remind me of what is possible in pharmaceutical advertising. Its freshness (in more ways than one) is timeless. Chuck DeMarco Chuck DeMarco,creative director, copy, Integrated Communications,a fullservice healthcare agency based in Parsippany,N.J.,puts the Demulen ad in his personal Hall of Fame. Talk about stopping power, this ad from Purdue Pharma has it in spades. With controversy surrounding the abuse of OxyContin by teens,Purdue Pharma (the manufac turer) and their agency (North Castle Partners) had a smart idea.They created an ad about prescription drug abuse that would primarily appeal to the teen market.But the ad and its campaign address drug abuse for ALL prescription medications,not just OxyContin.This makes sense.By taking this tactic, the message becomes much broader,and address es a wider audience. The actual execution is what makes this ad special. By avoiding the clich image of drugged out teens, the creative team developed the novel concept of graphically describing the embarrassment of drug abuse.Teens are probably the most selfconscious group of all.Telling them they might experience uncontrollable shaking, diarrhea, and explosive vomiting, is the best way to create awareness of what drug abuse can do to them and their social life. This message,coupled with superb, hip art direction,makes this a truly

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