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. Lamisil Brand: Lamisil Client: Novartis Agency: Deutsch Inc. Debuted: April 2003 Executive Creative Director: Kathy Delaney Creative Director: Michael DePirro and Robert Bollinger Copywriter: Lisa Garrone and Jean Kostelich We’ve certainly come a long way since we met Speedy Alka Seltzer a half century ago. Or have we? For those of you too young to know otherwise, Speedy Alka Seltzer was an engaging character developed to bring Miles Inc.’s remedy to life and engineer a consumer-friendly personality. In time, the little fellow became something of an advertising icon and inspired legions of ill-conceived imitations. And so along comes “Digger the Dermatophyte” as a strategy to market the prescription drug Lamisil. But rather than put a friendly face on the product, Digger is an extraordinary characterization of a living foot-fungus infection. “He’s so incredibly gross,” my daughter told me recently. This is, of course, the point. Thank goodness the campaign stops short of the more intimate “scratch and sniff” techniques. But what is really remarkable about the program is the incursion of traditional, banal consumer marketing mores into the very cautious sphere of prescription drug advertising. I was so used to seeing pharma advertising with healthy people celebrating various, miraculous cures that Digger’s presentation was intrusive in the extreme. Again, which is, of course, the point. And what’s more, with my attention captured, I learn that I can get $10 off my prescription when I visit lamisil.com. So, they got me. Except that, fortunately, I don’t need Lamisil since Digger and I haven’t been formally introduced. Nonetheless, his unfortunate image will stick with me, much like Mr. Whipple and other cloying, but effective advertising icons. Anybody got an Alka Seltzer? Tom Simons, President of PARTNERS+simons, a Boston-based advertising communications agency, applauds Deutsch for Digger, an extraordinary characterization of a living foot-fungus infection. He’s so incredibly gross …

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