For Art’s Sake

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For Art’s Sake

Marketers use all types of techniques to captivate potential audiences — from sex to iconography to great visuals and snappy text. This month’s selection of notable ads are great examples of each. Pfizer Inc.’s DTC ad for Lipitor, developed by Merkley Newman Harty Partners, is sexy, real, relevant, memorable, and has actionable visuals. It is also humorous and captivates the audience’s attention and provides a patient education component as well. Not to be outdone is AbelsonTaylor’s signature iconographic style for Amgen’s Aranesp. Through the use of bright colors, great text, and whimsy, the agency designed a memorable, energetic, and impactful launch campaign. The third notable ad this month is an oldy, but a goody, coming from BSB Hong Kong for the hemorrhoid treatment Preparation H. The campaign is built on a simple strategic message, delivered in an appropriate tone, and executed through an original and ownable concept through dramatic visuals and tight copy.

Brand: Lipitor
Client: Pfizer Inc.
Debuted: December 2001
Agency: Merkley Newman Harty Partners
Creative Director,Copy:Jonathan Isaacs
Creative Director, Art: Matthew Johnstone
Executive Creative Director: Randy Saitta

It’s sexy and captivating. Muscular guy disrobes at poolside. Lounging women exchange “Check this out” looks. OK, you’ve got my attention, now what’s the pitch? Cruise line? Exercise equipment? Wine cooler?

It could be any of those cliches, but it’s not. And that’s what makes the Lipitor “Know Your Numbers” campaign so unique and compelling. It doesn’t scream, “prescription drug ad.” But by the time this guy hits the water, you know he’s got great stats in every department except his LDL cholesterol. And you’ve learned something important — you can look and feel as fit as an Olympic swimmer and still have a serious health problem. So if you don’t know your numbers, see your doctor and find out.

At Hall Media, we focus on patient education, and the Lipitor campaign is patient education at its best. It’s real … relevant … memorable … and actionable. It’s also a great way to differentiate Lipitor from the competition.

I don’t expect that the critics of pharmaceutical marketing are going to be swayed by the FDA’s latest survey, which confirmed that DTC does, in fact, help increase patient awareness.

But this is certainly one shining example of what a 30second health lesson can do.

According to Maureen Hall,president and creative director of Hall Media Productions,a Philadelphia-based creator of marketing communications for TV, video, and interactive media, the Lipitor TV campaign teaches an important health lesson in 30 seconds.

Marc Sapp Brand: Aranesp
Client: Amgen Debuted:2002
Agency: AbelsonTaylor
Creative Directors: Stephen Neale, Barry Levine
Art Director: Debbie Lim Copywriter:Bill Boyd
Product Manager:Sherry Danese Aranesp

When I think of AbelsonTaylor, I think of a house of icons — branded little gems that are meaningful, memorable,and highly marketable.While we can debate whether iconographic approaches to a concept are appropriate for every brand or not, no one can argue that when an icon works, it works brilliantly, as seen in this whimsical ad for Aranesp,which made its debut in 2002.

From the moment I saw the coming soon ad — a huge swash of yellow with a cartoonish red-blood cell icon zooming across the page — I knew this campaign was going to be a winner. The ad had energy, it had pizzazz, and it made me want to see what was coming next.

The Aranesp launch ad conveyed in a very simplistic way the USPof the brand — that each injection stimulated red-blood cell production longer than the competition. Once the simple line drawing of the car with red blood cells for wheels and the vibrant yellow branding color grabbed my attention, the crispness of the headline “Get more mileage from every dose” did for me what every great headline should do — which is to take a complex scientific fact, simplify it, and use words from everyday speak to make your point.The result:an energetic, impactful launch campaign.

And just how much impact did this ad have? At ASCO 2002, droves of oncologists — and this creative director — stood in line to answer multiple choice questions about Aranesp for more than 30 minutes just to reach the Amgenbooth and get our very own yellow branded tote bag that had — you guessed it — wheels. Simply brilliant. Congratulations to the client and the creative team.This is surely an ad — and a campaign — to be proud of.

For Camille DeSantis,VP,creative director, Accel Healthcare Communications,a New York-based healthcare agency, this ad for Aranesp is a remark able example of the power of iconographic branding.

Preparation H
Brand: Preparation H
Agency: BSB HongKong
Art directors: Phil Marchington and AndyTam
Copywriters: Steve Elrick andTonyYeung
Photographer:Kevin Orphin

The first job of any ad campaign is to get attention.This one certainly got mine.And held it. I first saw this work several years ago and haven’t been able to end the occasional nightmares since. (By catharsis, I’m hoping now to pass the nightmares on to you.)

It’s easy to get attention through gratuitous shock. But this work is arresting in a relevant way. Actually three relevant ways.

First, the work is built off a deceptively simple strategic message:dramatize the discomfort of hemorrhoids,and present the unfortunate ailment in a way that makes you feel it. Yeeow. This can be a very effective strategy for a category leader like Preparation H. But don’t try this if your brand is No.2.

Next, the message was delivered in an appropriate tone for the subject at hand. I’d imagine there is nothing pleasant about hemorrhoids. And these not-so-pleasant images capture the mood.

And finally, the point was made through original and own able concept and execution with dramatic, surprising visuals. It is immediately recognizable, and yet never seen before in this way. For many, the practice of global branding has come to mean global execution. Few campaigns can overcome the language and cultural barriers to make it work. This one might be among the exceptions.

I could blab on about why I like this work.But I’ve already used up 211 words discussing a campaign that makes its point with only two. And I’m not sure those two words were even necessary.

For Marc Sapp,group creative director at Gerbig, Snell/Weisheimer,an advertising agency of inChord Communications,Columbus,Ohio, the first job of any ad campaign is to get attention, and for him, this ad for Preparation Hmet that goal.

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