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February 22, 2019 Bob Ehrlich0

I have been in the DTC business a long time. After seeing the excellent Ray Liotta ad I might have predicted the next version would use Joe Pesci or Robert De Niro. Chantix instead cast a wild turkey as its star. Who says DTC can’t be creative?

Bob Ehrlich
“Chantix breaks out with the creative…”
-Bob Ehrlich

In what will be a very memorable spot Chantix takes the “cold turkey” expression literally by casting a turkey to represent a person who quits smoking with Chantix. The story line is that Chantix allows you to gradually quit smoking by decreasing the urge and thus you don’t need to go cold turkey but go slow turkey as the spot is named. In a world where much of the DTC Ads have become boilerplate style, Chantix breaks out with the creative device here. Sometimes using a character to represent a brand is risky. It works well when we get an Aflac Duck. The question a brand and agency must wrestle with is will using a character diminish the serious nature of an Rx drug.

For DTC we have had a number of such character representations. Digger for Lamisil, the walking bladder for Myrbetriq, a dancing stomach for Prevacid are some DTC examples. The risk is that patients who suffer from disease may not like seeing their problem in character terms. Some diseases are clearly inappropriate for creating such treatments. I doubt cancer ads would contain a singing Lung.

For Chantix I love the use of the turkey. After seeing so many testimonial ads in DTC, it was certainly attention getting to see a turkey sitting by the pool dumping its ashtray. The ad was so different from Ray Liotta that I had to go back and make sure I was seeing correctly. Yes, that was Chantix.

Sometimes an attention getting character might have stopping power but dwarf the message. In this case the Chantix story still came through well and the creative just replaced a human with the turkey in situations like lounging by the pool or mowing the lawn. I give Pfizer a lot of credit for approving a story board so different from the traditional user testimonial. Ray Liotta was very effective but so is the turkey. The agency should be applauded for recommending it as it is not always easy to bring something so different like this to the client.

My concern is that Ray may want to whack the turkey for taking over as spokesperson. A Goodfella hates rivals. I do not know how long this turkey creative can last. After all there is no saying like cold squirrel or cold cow. I am afraid the pool out potential may be limited but that depends on the acting range of the turkey. That said if the turkey is meant to get potential Chantix users to get engaged this ad will do that very effectively.

February 12, 2019 admin0

DTC Perspectives, the leading forum for direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising thought leaders names its 18th Annual list of the “Top 25 DTC Marketers of the Year.”

This year’s class will be honored during a joint ceremony dinner recognizing the 2019 Top 25 DTC Marketers and Hall of Fame class on the evening of April 16 sponsored by PatientPoint, at the 2019 DTC National taking place in Boston. It includes representatives from more than 15 different manufacturing companies, with each marketer championing both the interests of the patient and brand.

“PatientPoint and I congratulate the 2019 Top 25 DTC Marketers of the Year. These industry leaders have positioned their brand as true partners to patients throughout the care journey with innovative solutions that enrich the entire healthcare experience. We look forward to honoring their impressive achievements at the DTC National Conference and partnering with them on continued success,” says Linda Ruschau, Chief Client Officer of PatientPoint.

The Top 25 DTC Marketers of the Year for 2019 are…

  • Janice Adewuyi, Director of Product Management, Aptensio XR®, Rhodes Pharmaceuticals L.P.
  • Christa Albeck, Patient Marketing Director, XELJANZ®, Pfizer, Inc.
  • Matthew Arm, Associate Director, Multi-Channel Promotions, Merck & Co.
  • Anthony Atanasio, Senior Marketing Manager, Lytics Marketing, Genentech
  • Gail Boyden, Associate Director, IO Consumer Marketing, AstraZeneca
  • Becky Chow, Director, Consumer Marketing, NUPLAZID® (pimavanserin), ACADIA Pharmaceuticals Inc.
  • Tara D’Andrea, Senior Director, HCV DTC/P Marketing, Gilead Sciences, Inc.
  • Sarah Dooley Durant, Associate Director, Vivitrol Consumer Marketing, Alkermes, Inc.
  • Raymond Foust, III, PhD, MBA, Director, Diabetes Marketing, Boehringer Ingelheim
  • Antoine Grand-Clément, Consumer Marketing Manager, GSK
  • Gisell Guzman, XELJANZ Patient Marketing Team, Pfizer, Inc.
  • Debra Hagan, Director, Psychiatry Marketing, Allergan
  • Tejal Jhonsa, Product Manager, Opdivo Patient Marketing, Bristol-Myers Squibb
  • Jenna Kelly, Director, I&I Consumer/Patient Marketing, Celgene Corporation
  • Fleur Lee, Director, Banzel, Eisai Pharmaceuticals
  • Christy Lopé, CHANTIX Consumer Marketing Lead, Pfizer, Inc.
  • Eric Nelson, Marketing Director, Women’s Health, AbbVie
  • Tom Nowlin, Director, U.S. Oncology Consumer Marketing, Eli Lilly & Company
  • Rhonda Peebles, Executive Director, Head of Marketing, COSENTYX Dermatology, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation
  • Dan Pinto, Product Director, Consumer Marketing, Cardiovascular & Metabolism, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
  • Betty Rhiew, Senior Director, Marketing, Biogen
  • Elizabeth Rosato, Consumer Marketing – Repatha, Amgen, Inc.
  • Delta Schonhoft, Rexulti Consumer Marketing Lead, Lundbeck
  • James Smith, Associate Director, Marketing, AstraZeneca
  • Betty Webb, Manager, Patient Marketing & Digital Health Innovation, Novo Nordisk Inc.

“These elite pharmaceutical marketing professionals are this year’s top contributors to the advancement of patient outcomes via direct-to-consumer pharmaceutical education and marketing,” adds DTC Perspectives Chairman and CEO Robert Ehrlich. “We would like to recognize the faces behind prominent DTC campaigns, because their hard work and dedication to fostering the industry is often not recognized. The awardees were selected from many worthy candidates.”

Click here to register for the DTC National Conference or contact the DTC Perspectives office at 770-302-6273.

Celebrate with the Industry’s Best

Congratulate the Top 25 DTC Marketers in-person and in our publications! DTC Perspectives offers reserved tables with seating for 10 at the Top 25/Hall of Fame and Advertising Awards ceremonies as well as congrats ads opportunities in our DTC Perspectives Magazine/DTC National Conference Guide, on our website, and in Email announcements. Click here to view awards packages and congratulate a Top Marketer/DTC Hall of Fame inductee today.

Print congrats ad deadline: Friday, March 8, 2018

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