For Art’s Sake

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What can you say about a nearly 12-year-old brand that has less then half the share of the category leader and is indicated for a condition that even those who have been diagnosed have trouble paying attention to? The brand is Zocor, the asymptomatic condition is hypercholesterolemia, and the answer is make your own news and use TV and the Web to spread it. In a 60-second spot titled “5 years in the making,” the Zocor brand team and their resourceful agency, Ogilvy & Mather Healthcare, were able to reinvigorate interest in the brand and the condition by promoting the availability of the landmark Heart Protection Study conducted by Oxford University and sponsored in part by Merck. The key insight at work here is that consumers who are interested in health information are twice as likely to use the Web to get it and twice as likely to talk their doctors about the products associated with it. By focusing on online health information seekers, a highly motivated and leveragable segment of their target audience, Zocor was able accomplish two things. One of them was to move beyond the usual lifestyle images that have by now become clichés. The second, and perhaps most important, was to find a way to deliver tangible value to customers. The sweeping cinematic style of the spot features a variety of international locations, accents and even subtitles to reinforce the global importance of the study. Interesting and introspective people throughout the spot are flipping through the actual study — an orange booklet that is the star of the show. But for me it is the confident integration of TV and the Web that makes this spot a standout. A gentle voiceover instructs viewers to “download this book for free at Zocor.com.” With the click of a mouse, people have access to important consumer friendly information that builds the brand while it cultivates prospects and shores up loyalty in a highly competitive market. This Zocor spot reminds me of a pitch some years ago where MBC suggested that a client use some of their precious TV time to point customers toward a unique Web offering. You would have thought we asked them to use the TV spot to promote moldy cheese! Today we are that client’s interactive agency of record. For Alexandra vonPlato, chief creative officer at Medical Broadcasting Company, a healthcare marketing agency based in Philadelphia, focusing on online health information helped this Zocor ad deliver tangible value to customers. As a creative, I believe the goal of every ad is to create intimacy. To make an emotional connection between the reader and the brand. And to do so in Rx advertising, the general rule is: depict your brand’s benefit. But there are notable exceptions. Take this unforgettable ad campaign for Requip from Junction 11. The copy is direct, the visuals uncompromising, and the emotional impact powerful. Imagine this were your assignment. Would you come up with such a hard-hitting approach? Or would you follow the better angels of your nature and go with happy patients, smiling grandchildren, and so many familiar hobbies? Let’s say you have the courage to conceive and present this concept. Would it be your agency’s recommendation? Could you successfully convince your client to run it? If you’ve ever had to deal with Parkinson’s disease, either personally or professionally (I have experienced both), you know how degrading it can be — to everyone involved. Congratulations to the creatives — and to the clients — for daring to make prescribing physicians feel the loss of dignity — and for positioning Requip as the brand that defends it. Tom Clark, senior VP, associate creative director, copy, Integrated Communications Corp., a Lowe Healthcare Group company based in Parsippany, N.J., finds this ReQuip ad praiseworthy. Brand: Zocor Company: Merck & Co. Agency Ogilvy & Mather Healthcare Debut: August 11, 2003 Art Director: Tracy McFarlane Copy Writer: Kim Olson Brand: ReQuip Company: GlaxoSmithKline Debut: February 2002 Agency: Junction 11 Art Director: John Timney Creative directors: Richard Rayment and John Timney Photographer: Bob Wing Copywriter: Richard Rayment

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