For Art’s Sake

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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.

In our high-speed, icon-loving world of healthcare communications, I sometimes wonder if writing is becoming a lost art. I’m not talking about snappy headlines or clever plays on words; I mean the type of writing that represents the idea. Writing so deftly constructed that no word is allowed in without a reason to be, and each word arrives at your ear as if it’s never been there before. I mean the type of writing that turns what could be just another talking head TV spot into a riveting moment of human intimacy. That’s the type of writing in Bristol-Myers Squibb’s consumer campaign, “Together we can prevail.” In this elegantly and poetically understated approach, survivors look into the camera and make proclamations against their diseases. Some are defiant. Some are proud. Some are quietly stoic. A few of the faces are famous; others are not. But all are treated in an equally unpretentious way. They are not backed by a music track. The background is a simple sweep. Without fanfare, the subtle imperfections and vulnerabilities that make us human are allowed to shine through. The result is thirty seconds that stops you in your tracks — that feels so personal, so emotionally charged, you find yourself holding your breath so as not to miss a word. In one such spot, Lynn Redgrave tells us, “I want to die from eating too much chocolate. Or from dancing the tango. But I refuse to die from breast cancer.” At the close is a promise of partnership from BMS: “With your will and our medicines, we will find a way.” There are a half dozen or so corporate pharmaceutical campaigns out there saying, “we’re all about patients.” They seem to blend together in one’s memory like melted crayons. Bristol-Myers Squibb’s masterfully crafted campaign demonstrates the difference between advertising that inserts words and that which ignites belief. To this creative team, I raise my pen in salute. Beautiful, beautiful job. The elegantly and poetically understated approach of the Together We Can Prevail campaign is applauded by Marcee Nelson, Executive VP, Executive Creative Director, of GSW Worldwide, Westerville, Ohio, a subsidiary of inVentiv Communications, an inVentiv health company.

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