When 5,742 physicians opt in voting for their favorite medical journal ads over utilizing spare time that never comes, you know it’s a big deal. And yesterday at The Doctor’s Choice awards luncheon sponsored by the Association of Medical Media (AMM), their input was not only showcased on a most refined level but also indicative of what they want pharma marketing to deliver.
It became quite clear to me early in the ceremony that physicians weren’t selecting ads based on how fun and fancy they were, but rather on how they delivered a message straight and to the point. William Castagnoli, director of The Doctor’s Choice awards, echoed my thoughts.
“Doctors are looking for information and they very often are not impressed by what we would think is a bright clever headline or photo,” he said. “There were a lot of ads this year that were atypical.”
Despite a lack of fluorescent colors with flashy themes, most ads did present more text and fewer frills. Dusa’s Clindareach launch ad combined, what I thought, the right mix of amusement and information for doctors. In fact, Topin & Associates, the agency that created the ad, walked away with the most awards – highest scoring specialty ad, the four-page and over, and dermatologicals categories.
“Clearly this is a concept that’s been proven to deliver impact,” said Alan Topin, president and founder of Topin & Associates. “I’m proud of our experienced team that developed this award-winning work,” he added.
Companies close behind taking two awards were Merck, Lilly, Alcon, Pfizer, and Salix.
For the first time in history, Lilly’s four-page Cymbalta ad created by GSW Worldwide won in two product categories: diabetes therapy and neurologicals. Again, we saw tons of text going on in this ad but the clincher here was the patient who tells a story.
Kris McGlosson, vice president creative director for GSW Worldwide said that Cymbalta targets endocrinologists and neurologists because it effectively communicates both diabetes and pain. She also pointed out that the key was casting somebody who could play the role of a diabetic.
“I think doctors in their educational progress are data driven so when you ask their response to communication they say show me the data,” said Dean Tepper, senior vice president group creative director, GSW Worldwide. “They digest communication in an emotional way and if they can become a hero they will respond.”