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. Brand: Paxil CR Company: GlaxoSmithKline Title: People With Name Tags Debut: Feb. 23, 2004 Agency: McCann Erickson, New York Account managers: Gary Chu, Sharon Johnson Art director: Ryan Hose Copy director: Meg Rogers When creating a commercial for a social anxiety drug, there must be great temptation to over- dramatize the fear sufferers feel to make the resolution seem that much better. The new Paxil CR ad, “People With Name Tags,” avoids this trap with honest portraits of patients overcoming their anxieties with the help of their doctor and Paxil CR. It’s beautifully shot, intelligent, and long overdue in this category. Each character in the spot is labeled, for all to see, by a tag describing his or her symptom. This simple mnemonic shows a deep understanding of how sufferers think and feel. While everyone can be fearful, nervous, or self-conscious, people with social anxiety face the debilitating stress of having these feelings every day in a public setting. For those with the courage to seek help and ask about Paxil CR, the reward is great. They get their “name” – hence, their life – back. The performances are touching and believable and the direction honest and real. The viewer has a full understanding of this spot and the benefits of Paxil CR even if the sound on the TV is turned off. The mechanism-of-action and adequate provision copy are woven nicely into the story, maintaining the pace rather then breaking up the spot. This commercial is remarkable in its insights into the human psyche because it shows tremendous caring and sensitivity toward its audience. It helps people with social anxiety in two ways: sufferers can easily identify whether Paxil CR is right for them and nonsufferers will get a better understanding of what it’s like to live with this disorder, helping to reduce the stigma attached to social anxiety. Not an easy task to accomplish in 60 seconds but McCann did it and did it well. This 60-second TV spot for Paxil CR balances caring and sensitivity with intelligence, according to Brian Mercer, Executive VP, Co-Chief Creative Officer, at The Quantum Group, a CommonHealth company based in Parsippany, N.J. Brian Mercer Honest portraits of patients

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