For Art’s Sake

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There are a handful of “classic” pharmaceutical healthcare ads. Ads that stand the test of time and follow the basic tenets of good advertising. Once again, Abelson-Taylor’s ad campaign for Hytrin has been identified as such a classic. According to Don Martiny, the Hytrin Balloon campaign, which debuted in 1993, is one of the best pharmaceutical ads that has run within the past 10 years because the creative team followed the basic rules of effective advertising.

For Karin Miksche, Deutsch’s Zyrtec print and television ads are another example of effective advertising. The agency created a series of ads that breakthrough the generic allergy advertising sector by depicting a unique individual with his or her own distinct blend of allergies.

Hytrin

Brand: Hytrin
Client: Abbott Laboratories
Debuted:1993
Agency: Abelson-Taylor
Art: Stephen Neale
Copy: Jeff Chouinard

How often have you heard someone say, “let’s break the rules” in hopes of achieving edgier creative work? I’m going to take this opportunity to champion the basic rules of advertising to show how they can lead to great creative. This jarringly powerful ad for Hytrin that debuted in 1993 is, in my opinion, one of the best pharmaceutical ads that has run within the past 10 years. It is notable because its creative team followed the basic rules of effective advertising.

Here are the rules (in case you forgot):
1. Be on strategy. The concept must be strategically sound with laser-precision accuracy.
2. Use the appropriate tone. To create the closest bond possible with your target audience the tone must be appropriate for them. Use vernacular and imagery that is meaningful to them.
3. Make it clear. Your audience should get the key message quickly, without a lot of effort.
4. Make it appealing.
5. Tell the truth. Make it believable.
6. Differentiate. If the competition’s ads are all zigs, use zags. And keep it fresh.
7. Does it have legs? It should.
8. Make it sensual and/or visceral. Rather than merely describing your message, offer your audience an experience. Allow them the opportunity to feel.

This ad for Hytrin clearly followed the rules. The product offers relief for symptoms from benign pro static hyperplasia (BPH), and the headline clearly states the professional’s key clinical goal, “Release the Grip of BPH.” The graphic is a bloated red balloon almost bursting with water. A clamp in the form of a clothespin is removed, kindly releasing the water — a deftly clever metaphor for the patient’s bladder. Not only does the graphic demonstrate the effectiveness of Hytrin in a memorable way, but I can hardly look at it without uttering a quiet sigh of relief.

Congratulations to the client and the creative team. This is an ad to be proud of.

For Donald Martiny, senior VP, creative director, Dorland Global Health Communications, this ad for Hytrin passes the critical criteria test for great creative.

 

Zyrtec

Brand: Zyrtec (print ads)
Client: Pfizer Inc.
Debuted: February 2002
Agency: Deutsch Inc.
Art Director: Scott Schindler
Copywriter: Lisa Garrone
Photographer: Lizzie Himmel

Brand: Zyrtec (TV ad)
Client: Pfizer Inc.
Debuted: February 2002
Agency: Deutsch Inc.
Art Director: Scott Schindler
Copywriter: Lisa Garrone
Photographer: Lizzie Himmel

What could be potentially more generic than an allergy advertisement? Fields of ferociously allergenic flowers tamed with the help of a little pill — woman in floating dress optional. Not long ago, E-Trade’s agency spoofed the genre with its wonderful “Nozella” spot. (A real “must-see.”)

In refreshing contrast is Zyrtec’s wonderful “allergy portrait” campaign. Each ad features a unique individual with his or her own distinct blend of allergies: “I’m a pollen, dust mite, dander.” The ads are charming in their simplicity and humanity. And they drive home the product benefit so easily — lots of allergies. Just one Zyrtec. Well, lots of agencies. Just one Deutsch.

For Karin Miksche, senior VP and senior associate creative director at Grey Healthcare Group, Deutsch’s Zyrtec ads break through generic allergy advertising.

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