For Arts Sake

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Creative Review

Brand: Zoloft
Client: Pfizer
Debut: May 2001
Agency: Deutsch
Senior VP, group creative director: Michael DePirro
Senior art director: Jeisen Rodriguez
Copywriter: Grace Chu Senior
producer: Bruce Andreini

Given the wrong agency, the wrong client, or the wrong day to fight for a good idea, this campaign could have easily ended up in the Land of Overused Pharmaceutical Images. You know the type: buff octogenarians water-skiing, joyful patients throwing their arms open to the sky, women in straw hats, and so on. After all, what defies depression more than a cheerful straw hat, a play-it-safe client might ask. This campaign for Zoloft by Deutsch sent the clichéd woman-in-the-straw-hat packing, gardening tools in tow. Instead, the animated character in the Zoloft spots continues to stand out in a category of monotony. The use of animation effectively eliminates any unwanted identity associated with depression and makes its point with an unassuming presence. Even if viewers can’t identify with the droopy Zoloft orb, they can easily identify with its relief. And in a category that teeters dangerously close to overpromise, this campaign offers subtle, reassuring hope of “feeling like yourself” again. With the recent win of the Zoloft brand by the Kaplan Thaler Group, the advertising is sure to evolve once again. In the meantime, the instantly recognizable animation of Deutsch’s campaign has been a refreshing change of pace in a world overrun with smiling women gardening their little hearts out. For Eileen Lovern, creative director and senior VP at The CementWorks, New York, the animated character in the Zoloft spots stands out in a category of monotony. Eileen Lovern Subtle, reassuring hope Brand: Geodon Client: Pfizer Agency: Lyons Lavey Nickel Swift Copy: Todd Neuhaus Art: Peter Jesse Here’s an ad that communicates the complexity of schizophrenia and symptom control in an elegant and highly recognizable graphic. This simple and memorable depiction of problem and solution, without the traditional use of patient types, has appeal beyond the target audience. The visual is so complete that it doesn’t even require copy. From an art director’s perspective … that’s powerful! The use of musical notations to create the feeling of recovery and accomplishment, along with dramatic color and tones, further advances this concept. Finally, this creative concept transcends all languages and borders to provide a truly timeless and global idea. The creative concept for this Geodon ad transcends all languages for Barry Balter, senior VP, creative director, at Noesis Healthcare Interactions, Morristown, N.J., a CommonHealth agency. A concept that transcends all languages and borders. Brand: Osteo Bi-Flex Client: Rexall Sundown Debut: March 2003 Agency: Cramer-Krasselt Co. (Milwaukee) Creative Director: Mike Bednar Copywriter: Sandy DerHovsepian Art Director: Matt Herrmann Producer: Mary Pat Cupertino How fitting to have the ultimate stiff, Frankenstein himself (or is it Frankenshteen?), appear as a spokesperson for a product that alleviates the pain and stiffness of arthritis. Ah, but this is more than that. Way more. This creative team and client have gone an inspired step beyond, to spoof the route most of their competitors not only take, but put hundreds of millions of dollars behind. With the potential payoff that maybe, just maybe, they can make the familiarity all that money has bought, work for them. Hey, if you can’t outspend the competition, outsmart them. That works for me! When I first saw “Frank” doing tai chi, I laughed out loud. Honestly! I loved the gardening scene, helping in the classroom, and the morning jog. And the little detail of Frank stretching on the tree was priceless! But what I admire most about this campaign is that, as entertaining as it is, it’s strategically dead-on. “What a stiff,” Frank says, referring to his former self. But Frank is a stiff who suffers no longer, thanks to Osteo Bi-Flex. Strategic and executional brilliance; now that is something to admire! Thomas McDonnell, senior VP, associate creative director, at The Quantum Group, Parsippany, N.J., a CommonHealth agency, believes the Osteo Bi-Flex campaign is strategically dead-on. Three very different creative concepts are used to paint pictures of relief in this month’s selection of notable healthcare ads. Lyons Lavey Nickel Swift’s print campaign for Geodon takes a recognizable graphic and uses it to cleverly illustrate schizophrenia and the relief that the Pfizer product can provide. Cramer-Krasselt also uses a familiar character, Frankenstein, to humorously depict the relief Osteo Bi-Flex can give arthritis patients. (Editor’s note: This is the second time this ad has been given a nod by the creative community.) Deutsch presents viewers with an unfamiliar image to tackle the challenge of portraying relief for a familiar problem, depression. While each agency has taken different approaches to portraying relief, each one has been successful enough to receive praise from their peers for their efforts. For Art’s Sake October 2003 What a Stiff!

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