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February 18, 2015
Direct-to-consumer marketing efforts for many prescription drug brands rely not just on appropriate clinical targeting but on creative executions that are emotionally relevant and resonate deeply with appropriate patients. That creative, whether it’s a television or a print ad or a website or a brochure, needs to be grounded in a big creative idea that breaks through in a world crowded with health messages and experiences clamoring for patients’ attention.

We’ve been expanding our discovery of the target patient beyond their clinical profiles, disease conditions and standard demographics, and digging into the attitudes and behaviors of the target as a member of a generation. Baby Boomers (and Generation Xers and Millennials, and every other generation as well) have shared the same formative experiences, historical events and life stage milestones, developing generational attitudes and behaviors to culture, consumption, life, work, love – and health. We take these generational mindsets and apply them to the health and wellness experience of the target audience, especially when our Strategic Planners brief our creative teams on DTC television and digital marketing projects.

In one recent briefing on a specific disease condition, Tonic’s strategists ensured that the creative teams were steeped in Gen X’s favorite TV shows and music, their undeserved reputation as directionless slackers, their focus on family, as well as a typical day-in-the-life of a busy Gen X working mom. Our creative teams learned that the Gen X woman is a fan of the TV show “Parenthood”, is sentimental about Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ on a Prayer”, doesn’t think her post-college job at the thrift store meant she didn’t have a plan, has her work-life balance planned down to the minute, and puts her family first. All of this helped build a textured portrait of a very demanding patient who needs a treatment solution that meets their clinical needs and is easy to take, as well as one that doesn’t interfere with the hard-won and finely calibrated lifestyle and family life that Gen X values so greatly

Whether the brief is for Baby Boomers with diabetes or COPD, or Millennials or Gen Xers with allergies or HIV, Tonic strategists ground the creative teams in the experience of the generation with pop cultural references like hit songs and popular movies as well as news events and historical timelines. These shared experiences have shaped the values and beliefs of the generation and when these are extended to, say, how a person with allergies feels about their medicine or someone with HIV feels about talking to their physician, the stage is set for powerful insights that can inspire vibrant and resonant creative ideas.

“The more detailed the picture of the target is, the more the content we make for them will get their attention,” says Tonic’s Chief Creative Officer, Phil Silvestri. “Knowing the target is a Boomer or a Millennial helps us bring their broader lives into the creative, making it mean more to them.”

The creative teams have been reinvigorated and inspired, producing fresh creative ideas that are resonating with target audiences from all generations.

Katie Rogin