For Art’s Sake

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Creative review

Each month, this department pays homage to memorable advertising and marketing campaigns. The highlighted executions have been identified by leading creative executives for their noteworthy use of copy, art, photography, whimsy, uniqueness, etc. – in combination or as single branding elements. Creating good pharmaceutical advertising and marketing requires agencies to think out of the box and clients who dare to be different. PharmaVOICE is pleased to give these vanguards their due recognition. Creatives generally abhor rules. But here’s a rule for creative work that I think most of us would subscribe to: it’s better to show it than to say it. As a writer, I’d be the last one to de-emphasize the power of words in advertising. Words are the main carriers of message and meaning and, used skillfully, can do magical and wondrous things in their own right. Yet, when we can tell our stories visually, when we can generate compelling images that capture our meanings, I believe we can achieve a deeper kind of impact. Is a picture worth a thousand words? If it’s a great, memorable, riveting picture, I’d say millions is more like it. All of which brings us to this “Adult ADD” DTC spot from Lilly. Talk about a perfect story to tell visually! As you know, ADD is about the fragmentation of focus, the inability to keep one’s mind from racing in a multitude of directions. Apparently, ADD is undertreated in adults, and the objective of this unbranded spot is to help potential sufferers self-diagnose and obtain appropriate treatment (ultimately with Lilly’s Strattera). The spot vividly shows one woman’s experience with ADD. She’s at her desk, in a meeting, trying to focus, and all her mind can do is gallop off to other places. And what places! The colorful surreality of the images is suggestive of a dream, or a nightmare, or an acid trip. To call these images Felliniesque is not an overstatement. So what we have here is a wonderful harmony between message and medium. The hyper-fragmentary nature of ADD perfectly lends itself to a hyper-fragmentary shooting and editing style. This most cinematic of conditions is powerfully evoked using visual, cinematic language. Given the skill, discipline, and imagination that went into this spot, I think it’s safe to say that there will be little incidence of attention deficit on the part of viewers. Steve Hamburg, executive VP and chief creative officer of New York-based Nelson Communications, a member of the Publicis Healthcare Communications Group, believes that this unbranded ADD TV spot displays a wonderful harmony between message and medium. Adult ADD (Strattera) Company: Eli Lilly and Company Product: Unbranded Debut: June 2003 Agency: Foote Cone & Belding Group creative director/art director: Rick Knief Creative director/copywriter: Judith Roth Senior producer: Steve Friedman Director: Mark Pellington, Crossroads Films/Los Angeles Steve Hamburg

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