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March 01, 2021

Young Executives’ Night Out

YENO is an evening of educational seminars led by top executives from MAHF member agencies and career-based panel discussions from the Hall of Famers. Along with cocktail and agency team bonding, the event creates the perfect backdrop for young professionals to learn the medical advertising business. Topics are chosen by the Future Famers, so they are particularly relevant to those starting out in the business and include: digital engagement, client problem solving, positioning, how to evaluate creative, what makes a great ad, and more.

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Digital Pioneer Award Winners

June 23, 2016

For decades, medical advertising relied on a tried and true formula of journal ads, direct mail, and collateral materials to communicate information to healthcare professionals.

With the development of digital communications, the industry found a tool perfectly suited for its information-heavy needs. Digital communications allowed more information to be communicated, with access to user-selected materials, interactivity, enhanced graphics, and many of the features of one-on-one personal communications.

Early efforts in this realm were handled by existing creative groups, assisted by a growing cadre of young professionals versed in the growing capabilities of digital communications. As the digital area grew and became more central to communication programs, agencies spun off digital divisions to handle these specialized needs.

The Medical Advertising Hall of Fame has honored the exceptional creative work from this period with its Heritage Ad Awards. With the growth and continuing evolution of digital communications, the organization is expanding its scope to include this newest form of advertising, and is instituting a Digital Pioneer Award to honor early efforts in this arena.

2016, the 20th anniversary of the MAHF, marked the introduction of our Digital Pioneer Awards (DPA).

Digital Pioneer Award Winners




Betaseron: The "POD" 3D 360 Degree Simulator

Name of product/campaign: Betaseron: The "POD" 3D 360 Degree Simulator
Name of company/client owning product/campaign: Bayer: Betaseron
Year launched: 2009
Type of media: Virtual Reality Experience
Agency producing product/campaign: Concentric Health Experience
Team members:
Ken Begasse, CEO
Michael Sanzen, CCO
Sayan Ray, AD
Aimee Eastwood, CW
Amanda Rivera, AE
Michael Rowe, Client

Goals of product/campaign: To educate neurologists about the need to treat early at the first clinical signs of Multiple Sclerosis.

To engage neurologists in a never experienced before way, to educate them on the new data for Betaseron as the only DMT with disease progression impact when used at the CIS.

To create a convention education experience that out-performed the competition and linked attendees into the Betaseron CRM platform.

They were asked to enter the BETA RESPONDER to embark on a mission to defeat MS.

Description of product/campaign: The First Responder gave viewers a first person journey through the CNS system in response to a first MS attack. With urgency, the responders experience our brand message…when MS attacks, “There’s not a moment to lose” and the use of Betaseron was “Not a Moment Too Soon”. Flying through the CNS, responders were educated on MS progression, Betaseron MOA and exposed to the growing data proving the Betaseron was a strong first choice for long-term MS management. The POD simulator experience was a mixed media, live experience. The 360 degree articulating POD fit 12 people and enveloped the riders in a immersive virtual 3D animated experience with surround sound. The First Responder Pod, educated and entertained attendees, with the early use of virtual reality. Much like today, message retention was elevated through engagement that pioneered 3D animated and live video.

What made this a special product/campaign: The early use of virtual reality combined with the physical experience transformed the Betaseron message beyond a print and data experience. In its first use at the AAN in Boston, the POD Simulator drew over 120 MD’s per hour, a 400% from previous year booth draws. Over 2,500 MD’s signed up for the CRM program at the AAN. The experience was so captivating, it was featured in a Boston Globe article on the event as innovative ways to educate physicians and the convention floor remained open an extra hour each day to accommodate the demand. The experienced amortized across many channels and events. The POD was transported across the nation to educate physicians at subsequent conventions, sales training events and health fairs at physician offices. The animation was used as education leave behinds for MD’s, loaded onto the reps tablet detail and used on the physician website. The The ROI was a miraculous 100:1.

Awards and honors the product/campaign received:
MM&M 2009 Gold Interactive
Bayer Innovator Award
RX Award


Enbrel eCongress

Name of product/campaign: Enbrel eCongress
Name of company/client owning product/campaign: Wyeth/Pfizer
Year launched: 2009
Type of media: Multichannel (online, print, personal, non-personal)
Agency producing product/campaign: H4B Chelsea/H4B Catapult
Team members:
Ed Stapor
Steve Nothel
John Clarkson
Doug Barr
Kel Smith
Kevin Vertuccio
Andria Medlin
Martina Campbell

Goals of product/campaign: The ENBREL eCongress provided unique access for HCPs to immerse themselves in rich ongoing education and engage in meaningful dialogue through emerging innovative technology. In a landscape of fierce competitors, ENBREL solidified its place as a digital trailblazer by employing this cutting-edge solution to reach a broad HCP audience.

Description of product/campaign: The ENBREL eCongress was an innovative, first-in-class virtual 3D congress environment — available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year —for ongoing HCP education. The virtual congress, housed on a branded microsite, featured exclusive access to clinical data, mechanism of action videos, patient education, publications, and presentations as well as information about upcoming events. The eCongress provided the clinical value of a traditional congress booth with the unprecedented benefit of access anytime, anywhere.

What made this a special product/campaign: Emerging, innovative, virtual technology. The 2009 economic environment presented unique challenges for many healthcare brands, including diminishing congress attendance. The ENBREL eCongress was born out of this barrier to HCP engagement. The digital forum provided a cost-effective solution without any travel or scheduling limitations, while still providing a focused, personal convention experience. The eCongress provided a first glimpse of the future of individualized education and self-guided detailing.

Awards and honors the product/campaign received:
In just one year, the ENBREL eCongress soared far above industry benchmarks with more than 10,000 total visits and over 1,500 unique visits to the site by HCPs from 10 countries.


How I Fight MS

How I Fight MS

Name of product/campaign: How I Fight MS
Name of company/client owning product/campaign: EMD Serono
Year launched: 2010
Type of media: MOA
Agency producing product/campaign: Greater Than One
Team members:
Pilar Belhumeur, Creative Director
John Mahler, Strategist
Stefan Armstrong, Copywriter
Penny Lam, Account Lead
Christa Toole, SEO
Joe Fullman, Junior Strategist

Goals of product/campaign:

  • To create a “real world” online community of people with MS, where they could share authentic lifestyle information through their own videos to help each other get more out of life with MS
  • To harness the reach of hand-picked social media influencers as a new way of building and maintaining an online community of patients interested in authentic lifestyle information

Description of product/campaign: featured videos, blogs, photos, essays, polls, and even playlists created by 5 hand-picked influencer-patients with MS, with regularly scheduled content updates twice a month. Visits to the site were accelerated when the 5 vloggers posted news about and links to the campaign on their own social media channels (YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter). Their large numbers of followers became regular visitors to The site enabled visitors to “share” a particular post or “send to a friend,” and it provided a registration option to receive additional premium content and ongoing communications from the vloggers through the “How I Fight MS” eCRM email program.

What made this a special product/campaign: “How I Fight MS” was a pioneer in identifying and working with social media influencer-patients for a disease awareness campaign. It blazed a trail into featuring patient-generated content, and it was the vanguard in meeting a real need for authentic lifestyle information around living with MS (instead of just providing disease state information).

Greater Than One utilized a unique social media strategy, starting with online and social media research, that identified a need for video-based lifestyle content among patients with MS. Capitalizing on the very strong presence of existing MS bloggers, we measured their influence and visibility, narrowed the field to the strongest 12, and recruited the top 5 as featured influencers in the campaign. We nurtured our relationships with them by providing in-person training on videography, content production schedules, communication protocols, and ongoing dialogue.

The “How I Fight MS” website received more than 200,000 visits—representing 70% of the American MS population—and thousands of YouTube views and patient registrations. The campaign also received very positive press from MS advocacy groups and bloggers. About the sponsor of the campaign, EMD Serono, one blogger said, “This is an example of a drug company that is trying to do the right thing by hearing from real MSers about their real experience.”

Awards and honors the product/campaign received:
Interactive Media Award for Best Medical/Non-Profit Website
Interactive Media Award for Outstanding Achievement Community
Hive Award for Best Community Website
Hive Award for Pharmaceutical Blog
Webby Finalist for Reality/Non-Profit Website
ECHO Leader Award
Communicator Award for Interactive Media
Communicator Award of Excellence (Reality)
Communicator Award of Distinction (Health and Wellness)
Communicator Award of Distinction (Health)


Dexilant MOA

Name of product/campaign: Dexilant MOA
Name of company/client owning product/campaign: Takeda
Year launched: 2009
Type of media: MOA
Agency producing product/campaign: AbelsonTaylor
Team members:
Noah Lowenthal
Marissa Ori
Vanessa Ruiz
Kat Burzycki
Donald Hanson
Scott Hansen
Lee Parkel

Goals of product/campaign: Dexilant (formerly Kapidex) was a second-generation proton pump inhibitor, launching in a very crowded market along with Prevacid and Nexium (the legendary Purple Pill). Fortunately, Dexilant’s main differentiator was a clinically meaningful one—two releases of medicine in one pill. This was important, because those pesky proton pumps that produce all that painful acid in GERD are not all “on” at the same time. Some pumps turn on in the morning—those can be controlled with a morning PPI dose. But some pumps don’t turn on till later in the day, and by then, the medicine is beginning to leave the system, causing more pain for the patient. Enter Dexilant – one release of medicine in the morning, and one later in the day to truly shut down acid production all day.

It was a simple story to tell, and educating gastroenterologists about proton pumps turning on and off throughout the day and thereby “escaping” the effects of the PPI, was the focus of our prelaunch market conditioning program.

Dexilant launched at Digestive Disease Week 2009, and the brand went all out building a memorable booth that drove home the idea of two releases, and included a giant building-sized steel stomach. And inside that stomach, at the heart of the booth, was the MOA experience that worked to differentiate Dexilant from the billion-dollar brands already on the market.

Description of product/campaign: Because it was impossible to know whether a gastroenterologist walking into our booth had seen the market conditioning program, we created a “choose your own adventure”-style MOA experience. The moderator prompted the audience to set the level of education that each tour provided. This would allow for a quick reminder for some HCPs, and a more in-depth experience for others. The technology that drove it all was the newly-launched Microsoft Surface Table—a massive, coffee table-sized multitouch platform.

Conference attendees would enter the oversized stomach in shifts and gather around the table where a trained moderator would guide them through the MOA. No two experiences were the same as each crowd would socially decide which part of the stomach they would explore and to which level of detail. They could scroll through the hours in a day and watch proton pumps turn on and produce acid at different times, they could “dose” the drug by placing a physical model of a capsule on the table and “flick” the two types of granules to shut down the early pumps or the later-in-the-day pumps, or they could stimulate even more acid production with a physical plate of food (both physical models had RF tags on their underside that the screen could recognize and launch a particular action).

What made this a special product/campaign: Late 2008 (when production on this project began) was a pivotal year for this type of immersive technology. iPads had just come to market, touchscreens were just hitting the mainstream, and gestures were just being introduced to users—nevermind the novelty of triggering onscreen events with physical objects. Set inside the giant steel stomach in the booth at DDW, the Dexilant Surface MOA was a social learning application that provided a digitally and physically immersive experience. By harnessing the excitement of this new technology, our simple story generated interest beyond expectations—Takeda had to hire “bouncers” for the booth to help with crowd control.

Awards and honors the product/campaign received:
Clio – Silver

Click here to view video




Name of product/campaign: FlexPen
Name of company/client owning product/campaign: Novo Nordisk
Year launched: 2008
Type of media: Website
Agency producing product/campaign: closerlook, inc.
Team members:
Jon Sawyer – Account Director
Andrea Walter – Account Manager
Ali Barrett – Art Director
Dave Reidy – Writing Director
Abby Covert – Information Architect
Pat Conlon – QA
Justin Muggleton – Senior Designer
Holly Grigalunas – Copy Writer
Todd Kneedy – Technical Architect

Goals of product/campaign: Novo Nordisk wanted to create greater awareness of its portable insulin-pen product, FlexPen®. The unique design offered flexibility, ease and independence for people with diabetes. closerlook was asked to help create an online photo contest that would appeal to both current and potential FlexPen users to emphasize the product’s benefits. A secondary goal was to drive increased traffic and membership to Changing Life with Diabetes, the company’s free, online community for people with diabetes.

The contest asked current FlexPen users to submit a photo of themselves and their FlexPens in an interesting location. closerlook used Novo Nordisk’s large patient database to reach out to a variety of potential contest participants.

Description of product/campaign: The challenge allowed for only FlexPen users to submit photos. closerlook recommended broadening the reach of the contest by incorporating several phases of participation. While only FlexPen users could submit their photos, closerlook recommended engaging the general public to vote for the winners. A main contest website would be the home base for the contest. A series of strategically planned e-mails and banner ads would drive traffic to the website.

Because anyone would be able to vote for the winning photos, we also recommended expanding the target audience beyond Novo Nordisk’s database by tapping into a database provided by a popular, diabetes-related website. Advertising the contest on additional websites would help further enhance participation and increase awareness.

What made this a special product/campaign: The campaign received more than four million brand impressions and the contest photos were repurposed in Novo Nordisk public-relations efforts.

Having strengthened the relationship between FlexPen users and the FlexPen brand, and increased general awareness of the ease and mobility of FlexPen, the contest campaign was a success.

Awards and honors the product/campaign received: Global Awards



Name of product/campaign: Singulair AR: Build-a-Patient
Company/client owning product/campaign: Merck
Year launched: 2007
Agency producing product/campaign: JUICE Pharma Worldwide
Team members:
Joan Wildermuth, Debbie Valle, Phil Scherer, Karl Schempp, Laurie Frasier, Ben Surette, Michael Kaminski, Hector Lopez, Leslee Epperhart, Brian Purcell, Erika Maas

Goals of product/campaign: Singulair needed to engage and make its unique MOA relevant. For a “nuisance condition” like allergic rhinitis, getting an HCP’s attention was challenging, and making the product top-of-mind as an Rx choice for a wide range of patients was even more so. This detail helped to achieve those goals in a memorable way.

Description of product/campaign: Built for tablet PC, the interactive detail allowed HCPs to choose a patient type and define the clinical concerns that were most relevant to them. 32 unique patient portraits enabled the user to select any of 4 ethnicities, 4 age groups as well as gender. An array of scientific and clinical data was presented in animated modules designed to foster conversation.

What made this a special product/campaign: Before “personalization” was a buzzword, this detail facilitated conversations that were specific to an individual doctor’s patient cohort and clinical concerns. Selecting a patient created moments of delight, and the extensive use of animation throughout made the experience truly engaging. At the time, it was a groundbreaking tool.




Name of product/campaign: Rozerem
Name of company/client owning product/campaign: Takeda Pharmaceuticals
Year launched: 2006
Type of media: website
Agency producing product/campaign: Abelson Taylor
Team members:
Scott Hansen – Creative Director
Noah Lowenthal – Associate Creative Director
Marissa Ori – Copywriter
Vanessa Donley – Art Director
Ben Murphy – Developer
Cindy Stone – Account Director
Jeanine Koch – Account Supervisor

Goals of product/campaign: Beat Goliath…Ambien dominated the insomnia market like few products ever have. Our goal was to introduce a new way of thinking about sleep, and to introduce Rozerem as a new option for the treatment of insomnia. In order to take down Goliath, Rozerem needed to spend BIG. $200 million in broadcast media spend big.

With millions of eyeballs being driven to the website we had to ensure that we provided a seamless, immersive brand experience with absolutely no tradeoffs.

And we had to invent the technology to do it!

Description of product/campaign: gives patients and consumers easy access to detailed information about Rozerem and educates them on how sleep works and the topic of insomnia, while including entertaining, yet educational aspects to the website to encourage the user to return to the site and learn more.

What made this a special product/campaign: So…we created a video-based site for the launch of the brand.

The problem was that at the time, streaming video was about as easy as pushing an elephant through a garden hose. ‘Choppy’ and ‘spooling’ were two adjectives that summed up the experience for almost everyone watching video on the web.

In order to combat that, we created technology that broke the video packets into smaller, easier to deliver bits. This allowed us to simultaneously load 49 separate videos on the home page in order to seamlessly introduce the Rozerem “Your Dreams Miss You” campaign to the World Wide Web.

This proprietary technology allowed us to extend the conversation between Abe Lincoln, the Beaver, and Doug the insomniac, in an utterly charming interface that was the first of its kind.

And we struck a nerve. In the first 6 months received over 2 million visits. Many of whom ended up playing chess with the beaver…

Awards and honors the product/campaign received:wwwHealth Awards: Silver, World Wide Web Health Awards: Silver, DTC Nationals Most Innovative Campaign: Bronze



Name of product/campaign:Zetia e-Merge Program
Company/client owning product/campaign: Merck and Co.
Year launched: 2005
Agency producing product/campaign: TBWA\WorldHealth (formerly CAHG)
Team members:
Dr. Bill Marovitz – Chief Science Director
John Glen – Digital Strategist
Mike Banner – Account Director
Holly McGregor – Account Supervisor
Copywriter – Jeff Hughes, Creative Director, PhD.

Goals of product/campaign: In 2004, Merck and the Zetia Brand Team wanted to develop a non-personal treatment education program to target cardiologists and primary care physicians who frequently treat patients with cholesterol issues. The program objective was to demonstrate that adding Zetia to a patient’s existing statin regimen is a more effective treatment for getting patients to their cholesterol goal than titrating their existing regimen to the next highest dosage.

Description of product/campaign: CAHG developed a program that utilized the authority of Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) to demonstrate the advantages of adding Zetia to a patient’s existing statin regimen. CAHG designed and developed a proprietary online solution, called eMerge, that targeted and recruited physicians online and invited them to engage and learn about the advantages of add-on Zetia treatment.

eMerge was an online proprietary portal site where targeted physicians were invited via email to review a series of three KOL-hosted patient case studies that utilized both a KOL video component and a multiple choice question format where peer response was displayed. The case studies were intended to utilize KOLs to establish legitimacy and peer response to modify physician behavior.

Part of the eMerge program was based on the “Delphi Method” developed by the Rand Corporation in the 50s, The Delphi Method solicits the opinions of experts through a series of carefully designed questionnaires interspersed with information and opinion feedback in order to establish a convergence of opinion.

Each case study demonstrated Zetia’s superior add-on treatment outcome when patients needed to meet their cholesterol goals. When participating physicians answered each multiple-choice question, their answers were compared to the answers of their peers who previously participated in the eMerge program. Although each multiple choice answer was a viable treatment option, the KOLs provided what they considered the most appropriate answer that highlighted Zetia’s superiority. Each answer was compared to those of peers, so participating physicians were able see the KOL’s treatment opinion and how other physicians answered. From those compared responses, physicians learned what was the appropriate treatment option. The program demonstrated a physician who answered case #1 in a certain way would revisit and perhaps change their responses by case #3 due to the influence of the KOLs and their peers.

What made this a special product/campaign: In 2005, pharmaceutical companies were stepping up their exploration of how to connect and engage physicians on behalf of their brands. The companies were very active forming internal CRM departments trying to find and engage physicians to develop and secure long-term relationships. It was no coincidence that it was a time when physicians were getting more active on the Web, searching and engaging relevant content online. Online access and download speeds were getting better, and so was the quality of relevant health content for physicians. It was the year SERMO® launched that allowed physicians to seek out and engage their colleagues through a number of different online programs at the site, if only to ask a simple question about a treatment approach for their patients. Because of these improvements, physicians were rapidly gaining confidence in their abilities to access the Web and engage audiences like colleagues, pharmaceutical companies, and third-party portal sites. with all of this momentum pushing more physicians online it seemed like a good time to introduce a program like eMerge. However, it was also a time when many pharmaceutical companies, physician portals, and other third-party companies were vying for the same physician audience.

There are many reasons why eMerge was a special program. The first and most important was the unique physician recruiting practice. Utilizing top KOL Cardiologists, whom other prescribing cardiologists and primary care physicians look to for their expertise in statins and treating cholesterol issues in patients, were personally inviting physicians to participate. That led to excellent open and engagement email rates, especially when so many Pharmaceutical companies were connecting with physicians via email.

Second, as already mentioned, we used the Delphi Method already mentioned. It’s believed to be the first time this method was used online, and with physicians to assist in developing a response and a convergence of treatment opinion.



Rogaine for Men and Women

Name of company/client owning product/campaign: Pharmacia Consumer Health
Year launched:2001
Type of media: Website
Agency producing product/campaign:Medical Broadcast Company/Digitas Health
Team members:
Alexandra vonPlato – Executive Creative Director
Mark Nolan – Creative Director
Robby Garfinkel – Art Director
Phil DiGuilio – Designer
Tom Mullins – Copywriter
Steve Cleff – Information Architect
Michelle Kinsman – Project Management Supervisor
Steven Chiles – Account Executive
Goals of product/campaign:

  • Convert interested men and women into Rogaine users through a content strategy or science and st
  • Inspire registration into Rogaine Results, an eCRM program designed to improve customer satisfaction and loyalty
  • Motivate enrollment and product purchase through Rogaine Direct, the first direct-to-payment e-commerce site for an OTC product

Description of product/campaign: Rogaine was the first topical OTC product proven to regrow hair. The goal of this assignment was to create a master brand site for both the Men and Women’s Rogaine, to refresh the brand and create content for consumers who were considering trying Rogaine. Two important components of the site were a CRM Program called Rogaine Results designed to support proper usage and manage consumer expectations over the two months of use required before visible results, and Rogaine Direct, the first online direct-to-patient purchasing option for an OTC brand that was meant to blunt the market growth of pharmacy-branded minoxidil treatments available in store.

What made this a special product/campaign: The online version of Rogaine Results was one of the first adherence eCRM programs developed to support proper product use and manage consumer expectations during early treatment. Fifty percent of Rogaine Results registered members, who engaged with the program for two months, used Rogaine twice as long (four months) as opposed to Rogaine users who were not part of the program. Rogaine Direct was the first pharma sponsored e-commerce site for direct-to-patient purchase and fulfillment of product.

The Physician’s Internet Tutorial

The Physician’s Internet Tutorial

Name of company/client owning product/campaign: Roche Laboratories
Year launched: 1996
Type of media: Print/Live Workshops/CD-ROM/Hybrid Media
Agency producing product/campaign: IntraMed Educational Group
Goals of product/campaign:

  • Use the “borrowed interest” of the Internet to provide disease and brand messages
  • Help physicians better understand the value of the Internet for clinical research and education
  • Drive attendance at an annual medical meeting

What made this a special product/campaign: Developed in 1996 when clients were wary about the value and regulatory environment of the Internet, this program managed to gain huge physician adoption without actually creating a website. Rather, we taught physicians how to use the Internet, and in so doing showed them how to do research on topics of importance to our client. We also created a customized online experience in a way that was valuable to physicians while providing a unique communications channel for our client.

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Heritage Award Winners

June 23, 2016

By its nature, medical advertising must convey complex, often dry information to a highly-educated, discerning audience. It must be accurate and balanced – excess and exaggerations are not allowed – everything that’s said must be true. This high standard is one that only our industry must measure up to.

Regardless of these constraints, like all effective advertising, medical advertising demands creativity, and a glance at our history shows numerous examples of excellence – ads that stop the reader and communicate their message in an innovative and effective manner.

In 2014, the Medical Advertising Hall of Fame introduced a way to recognize and honor these ads and the teams that created them, the Heritage Ad Awards. Quite simply, these Awards honor the best of our craft – ads that are no longer being run that combine copy, graphics, and focus to create outstanding advertising.

Each MAHF member may nominate two ads each year, not necessarily ads that they created, but those they feel are outstanding examples of our profession. The full membership votes on the ads nominated, with the top two being given the Heritage Ad Award.

Heritage Award Winners





Name of Company: Pfizer (formerly Wyeth)
Agency which created Ad: Havas Life (formerly Euro RSCG Life)
Agency submitting: Havas Health
Creative Rationalerationale – What makes this ad special The PROTONIX GERDee campaign depicted a heartburn monster (heartburn is also known as GERD) that was a nightmare for Nighttime GERD patients. GERDee was one of the earlier illustrated campaigns that showed more light-hearted creative could be used to hit home on a tough disease state. The campaign illustrated the heartburn monster out of control (Red and fiery) before the patient takes PROTONIX, and GERDee returns to a cool, resting blue image. This campaign was used for the entire lifecyle of the brand from launch to patent expiration, which showed its campaignabilty and sustainability. It’s differentiation in a class of multiple PPIs was key to the brand’s billion dollar success. The campaign was rolled out across all channels, including tiny stuffed GERDee animals that became commonplace in Gastroenterologist’s offices.

Any awards and honors received:
PM 360 Ad of the Year
Other awards were 16 years ago and difficult to track down (it truly is a Heritage award)
Protonix was one of the fastest brands to ever reach $1 Billion.
Brand Team received award for Brand Team of The Year


TEVA Oncology Campaign

Name of Company: TEVA Pharmaceuticals
Agency which created Ad: AbelsonTaylor
Agency submitting: AbelsonTaylor
Creative Rationalerationale – What makes this ad special By focusing on rare cancers, Teva’s commitment is rather unique—serving small cancer populations that don’t often make the headlines. With the ‘In A Word’ Campaign, AbelsonTaylor focused on Teva’s understanding of who their patient really is, what makes them more than just another script.

Many pharma companies say they’re in it for the patient. Not particularly unique or ownable. This campaign backed that position with true understanding and emotion to make it different and believable.

Any awards and honors received:
TEVA PM360 Trailblazers 2014 Gold – Unbranded campaign
TEVA Communicator Award 2015 TEVA Oncology Campaign: Film/Video – Employee Communications
TEVA Communicator Award 2015 TEVA Oncology Campaign: Film/Video – Pharmaceuticals




Name of Company: Schering-Plough
Agency which created Ad: Thomas Ferguson Associates
Agency submitting: Ogilvy CommonHealth Worldwide
Creative Rationalerationale – What makes this ad special Four years post-launch, Claritin, and the 4 line extensions (Claritin D-12, Claritin D-24, Claritin Syrup and Claritin Redi-Tabs) were promotionally aligned under a single auspice: the “Nothing But Blue Skies…”campaign. The premise was no less than owning the air, clarity at all times, the limitlessness of the sky above. The blue sky graphics carried across all promotional materials, including the full range of DTC advertising. Literally millions of Blue Sky pharmacy bags were distributed to consumers, regardless of what prescription they were having filled.

Blue Sky iconography was so strong that no other brand would even consider an outdoor concept if it looked like they contained “too much” sky. When Claritin went OTC, the blue sky graphics went with it, and continues on all packaging to this day – as does the theme “Claritin Clear”, in which an impediment is removed, and a brilliant blue sky revealed.

At its peak, Claritin achieved over $4 billion dollars in annual sales.

Any awards and honors received:
We cannot find documentation of all the different honors awarded this campaign, but there were many, including Ad Age Brand of the Year. The ad can also be found on page 216 of Medicine Avenue 2.

Restylane(R) Silk

Restylane® Silk

Name of Company: Galderma
Agency which created Ad: TBWA\WorldHealth, formerly Corbett Accel Healthcare Group (CAHG)
Agency submitting: TBWA\WorldHealth
Creative Rationalerationale – What makes this ad special Galderma is the largest company in the world devoted exclusively to dermatology. In the area of aesthetic products, the company markets a line of injectable fillers under the Restylane name. Silk was a new formulation, very precise, for shaping lips and smoothing fine lines around the mouth. The challenge was to launch this brand to a professional target of US aesthetic dermatologists and drive rapid uptake.

Doctors who work in this category take great pride in not only their technical expertise as injectors, but also in their aesthetic sense and their conviction that what they do blends both science and art. We appeal to the artist in each doctor by drawing a comparison to famous artists who portrayed female beauty.

In execution, we sourced and negotiated rights to famous portraits by the contemporary painter Alberto Vargas, the renaissance artist Botticelli, and the 20th-century Polish artist Tamara de Lempicka. All captured female beauty in a distinctive style using characteristic tools. We compare the effects these artists achieved to the effects our target can achieve using Silk. Each historical image is matched by a present-day photo of a model styled like the painting; similar, but not identical. Each model was authentically injected with Silk prior to the shoot.

Through Q1 2015, sales of Silk ware at 200% of forecast.

Any awards and honors received:
2015 – IPA Best of Health – GOLD Apple – Best in Show – Healthcare Professional Ad Campaign
2015 – IPA Best of Health – SILVER – Best Use of Photography
2015 – IPA Best of Health – SILVER – Healthcare Professional Ad Campaign
2015 – MM&M Awards – GOLD – Best Professional Print Campaign
2015 – The Globals – Finalist – Single Medium Campaign
2015 – Rx Club – Award of Excellence – Medical Devices Journal Ad Campaign
2015 – Rx Club – Award of Excellence – Photography Journal Ad Campaign



Name of Company: Wishbone
Agency which created Ad: Genzyme
Agency submitting: Calcium
Creative Rationalerationale – What makes this ad special Synvisc was the leading brand in a crowded category of viscosupplements—products that are injected into the knee to relieve the pain of osteoarthritis. However, Synvisc was continuing to lose market share, as there was broad parity in this category in terms of clinically demonstrated efficacy, with most of the products perceived to work more‐or‐less the same. It was strategically determined that, in order to drive further differentiation and growth, the Synvisc brand needed to heighten its efficacy perception. But how could this be achieved in the absence of actual data?

The now‐classic “Elephant” campaign was conceived to answer this challenge. A dramatic and memorable “product demonstration” was at the heart of the campaign—a massive elephant being supported by the Synvisc brand icon (blue gel ball). Needless to say, this image conveyed strength under pressure—literally. What’s more, a skillfully crafted headline created an impression of strength and superiority, even though it was only making a legally non‐inferiority claim.

The “Elephant” campaign became the core of the Synvisc promotional campaign, and it appeared in every medium. Physicians responded favorably, driving Synvisc prescriptions significantly higher during the 3 years of the campaign. For the Synvisc brand, the “Elephant” campaign became a milestone of success—success driven by some very smart advertising.

Any awards and honors received:
Multiple RX Club Awards
MM&M Silver Award
PM360 Readers Choice Award




Name of Company: Takeda Pharmaceuticals
Agency which created Ad: AbelsonTaylor
Agency submitting: AbelsonTaylor
Creative Rationale: In 1999 Takeda Pharmaceuticals had the opportunity to launch a new TZD product for type 2 diabetes. But, we were third to market. Parke Davis’ Rezulin, the innovator, was well liked by endocrinologists but had a very clear, albeit infrequent, incidence of liver cancer. GSK launched Avandia, a new TZD without the liver cancer issue. In truth, there were few clinical differences between Avandia and Actos. Our approach was to make the use of a TZD “friendlier” – the products had relatively few adverse reactions and good efficacy. We were determined to be the friendlier brand to the mass of patients with T2D who were our opportunity… and to the primary care doctors who had not adopted Rezulin and now had a choice.

The creative solution was a friendly brand; it depicted the many organs affected by type 2 diabetes, including the Hungry Muscle, the Burned-Out Pancreas, the Upset Stomach, and many others. The headline said it all: “Group Support by Actos.” The decision to be friendly was broad-reaching: from whimsically drawn anthropomorphic organs, to the conscious decision to make the logo use a lower case “a” in “actos.” Firmly entrenched in the age of physician tchotchkes, Takeda and Lilly created and disseminated organ “Beanie Babies” and gummy candies. Reps and doctors alike loved the friendliness of the campaign, making it easy to embrace Actos.

Physician reaction was speedy and positive. Within a year, the GSK lead from Avandia was wiped out among endocrinologists, and the prescription lead overall was achieved within 3. The campaign was used by all but one Takeda affiliate worldwide, and was used universally by US and global marketing partner Eli Lilly.
Any awards and honors received: One Rx Club aware, three In-Awe awards, and one Aurora Awards



Name of Company: MedPointe Pharmaceuticals
Agency which created Ad: Wishbone
Agency submitting: Calcium
Creative Rationale: The Zomig “Bunny” creative campaign is among the most iconic and memorable of the last 20 years. It created a splash almost instantly for its verve, boldness, and, yes, its wit, which is a rare quality in pharma advertising. But, rather than simply being creative for creative’s sake, this campaign emanated out of strong insights into the brand, audience, and category. As a result, the campaign not only dramatically raised awareness of the brand and improved perceptions—it helped drive growth, too.

Zomig competed in a crowded and undifferentiated migraine market dominated by Imitrex and tablet formulations. At the time Wishbone won the account, Zomig had been on the market for several years, competing primarily with Imitrex, Maxalt, and Relpax, with limited success. The challenge was to meaningfully differentiate Zomig with our physician customers: neurologists and PCPs.

The brand was available in a variety of formulations: tablet, melt, and nasal spray. The strongest data was for the nasal spray formulation, specifically around speed of onset, which was equivalent to the injectable formulation of Imitrex. However, this was a single study, which created challenges to promotional usage. In addition, Imitrex tablets were 2 years away from patent expiration, so moving use of Zomig away from tablets to the other forms was imperative before the leading brand and leading formulation became available generically.

Our strategy was to leverage the speed of the nasal spray form across the franchise. Due to the regulatory limitations of speed claims, we knew a strong concept was particularly crucial. In essence, our core brand idea was “redefining speed”, which led us to the headline, “Fast just got faster”. Visually we took an icon of speed, the rabbit, and gave it a rocket pack! Both strategically and creatively, Zomig was now distinct and energized.
Any awards and honors received:
2005 MM&M Awards: Best Individual Product Advertisement in Business Press Winner, 2005 RX Club Show: Silver Award for Spread Ad, 2005 PMT Reader’s Choice Award, 2005 In-Awe: Silver Award




Name of Company: TAP Pharmaceuticals (now Takeda Pharmaceuticals)
Agency which created Ad: AbelsonTaylor
Agency submitting: AbelsonTaylor
Creative Rationale: Remember when proton pump inhibitors were really dangerous? Like pre-cancerous cells dangerous? That was the state of the market when Prevacid launched in 1995. Physicians knew that PPIs were significantly better than H2RAs. But, at the same time, there was still concern about prescribing them, especially among primary care physicians. That’s where the Prevacid Tummy came in. Tummy represented a friendly, black-box-free PPI. The soft, puppet-like GI tract proved to be both approachable and endearing. No one wanted to see Tummy in pain. And the copy focused on what was important to patients and physicians, and that was symptom relief. Finally, Tummy proved an enduring symbol for Prevacid from launch, to OTC, and all the way through patent loss.
Any awards and honors received: Med Ad News Ad of the Year 1995, In-Awe Gold 1996, In-Awe Gold 1997, Global 1999, In-Awe Gold 2000, In-Awe Gold 2003, PMT Reader’s Choice Gold 2003, Global Award 2003, PMT Reader’s Choice Gold 2004, Rx Club Gold 2004, In-Awe Gold 2005



Name of Company: Abbott Pharmaceutical Products Division (now AbbVie)
Agency which created Ad: AbelsonTaylor
Agency submitting: AbelsonTaylor
Creative Rationale: Physicians dread having patients return again and again to their offices due to antibiotic failure. What they want is an antibiotic that works. First Time. No Bull. And that’s the story of Biaxin. A powerful, broad-spectrum antibiotic that takes care of the problem the first time. To tell this story, AbelsonTaylor created Bix the Biaxin Bulldog. Bix symbolizes the tenacious efficacy of Biaxin while the copy tells physicians how to, “Put the bite on common respiratory infections.” Bix the Bulldog helped Biaxin become one of the most widely prescribed antibiotics on the market. The campaign crushed ad recognition and product recall norms. It also led to a 30% increase in sales calls for Biaxin by the Abbott sales force.
Any awards and honors received: Med Ad News Ad of the Year 1996, In-Awe Gold 1998, Rx Club Gold 1999



Benadryl Decongestant

Name of Company: Parke Davis
Agency which created Ad: Sudler & Hennessey, NY
Agency submitting: Sudler & Hennessey, NY
Creative/Account Team: Art Director: Ernie Smith, Copywriter: Sandra Holtzman, Photography: Ken & Carl Fischer
Creative Rationale: The image says it all—it presents the symptoms so perfectly that you start to feel stuffed up just looking at it. Then all you need is the perfect three-word headline to promise relief.
When the work communicates so clearly, there’s nothing more to say.



Name of Company: Genentech/Roche Pharmaceuticals
Agency which created Ad: AbelsonTaylor
Agency submitting: AbelsonTaylor
Creative Rationale: Our second campaign is the global launch campaign for Tarceva, developed for Genentech/Roche Pharmaceuticals. The campaign, launched in 2005, was designed to communicate two critical features of the brand. First, Tarceva offered a survival advantage in 2nd line NSCLC… something that only chemotherapy had proven to date. Second, because Tarceva was a tyrosine kinase inhibitor, not a chemotherapeutic agent, it offered the opportunity of more “living” for the patient. The patient did not experience the debilitating side effects of chemo. We communicated the survival advantage by putting the universal graph for survival, a Kaplan-Meyer curve, in the lifeline of the patient’s hand. We then added the ability to live life more normally, communicated by the child’s hand. Our customers, who knew that many times kids could not see chemo patients due to the potential for infection, immediately latched onto this campaign.


*With a tie in the voting, three ads were selected for 2015.



Campaign: Lubalin Spasm
Name of Product: Bentyl
Name of Company: Merrell
Agency which created Ad: Sudler & Hennessey
Agency submitting: Sudler & Hennessey
Creative/Account Team: Copy: Don Clark; Art: Herb Lubalin; Photography: Carl Fischer
Creative Rationale: At Sudler, we believe that type is an essential element of creative design.
This is the legacy of legendary Creative Director Herb Lubalin, who brought an extraordinary sense of graphic design and typography to all his work.
While Herb is known for the fonts Avant Garde and Lubalin Graph, here he uses a somewhat less well-known typeface, Slinky, to make SPASM not just a word, but also a demonstration.
Herb believed that we should let type talk, and in this ad, its message is loud and clear.



Name of Product: Hytrin
Name of Company: Abbott Laboratories
Agency which created Ad: AbelsonTaylor
Agency submitting: AbelsonTaylor
Creative/Account Team: Account: Dale Taylor/Jay Carter; Art Director: Stephen Neale; Copywriter: Jeff Chouinard
Creative Rationale: In 1993, when Abbott Pharmaceutical Products Division (now Abbvie) was preparing to launch an antihypertensive alpha blocker for a new indication for benign prostatic hyperplasia, they had a formidable competitor in Merck’s Proscar. Nonetheless, Hytrin had advantages of its own. Unlike Proscar, Hytrin worked rapidly to reduce the symptoms of BPH, as it had a different mechanism of action. Further, Proscar was just beginning to open up the marketplace for the disease. Physicians tended to delay treating the symptoms of BPH until there was substantial discomfort.
To address this, Abelson Taylor created the “Red Balloon” campaign, which simultaneously focused upon the symptom (personified by an overfilled water balloon) and the symptom relief (the hand, Hytrin, relieves the pressure of the prostate, the clothespin, on the bladder.) This ad was special… special enough that Hall of Famer Harry Sweeney wrote an article for Medical Marketing & Media’s “Ads I Wish I’d Done” feature to commemorate the campaign. Special enough that Med Ad News created an “ad of the year” award for it.
Something little noted but of great importance was the early use of brand vocabulary in the campaign. Merck called BPH “benign prostatic hypertrophy,” because its mechanism of action was to shrink an enlarged gland. Abbott chose “benign prostatic hyperplasia” because the brand reduced the muscle tension of the prostate…for more rapid relief.
Awards and Honors Received: Med Ad News Ad of the Year; In-Awe Gold.




Name of Company: Pfizer
Agency Submitting: LLNS
Creative/Account Team: Mike Lyons – Art Director, Bill Brown – Copy
Creative Rationale: In 1983, copper bracelets for arthritis pain relief were widely used because people (even physicians) believed that copper was absorbed by the skin to relieve joint pain. LLNS used metallic copper ink in Feldene’s advertising to borrow from this widely held belief. The copper color extended beyond advertising to sample and trade packaging for Feldene, and was perceived as a very strong and consistent brand identity.The “sandpaper” texture of the bones in the ad was and extremely effective use of creativity to get the attention of physicians and to make Feldene interesting and relevant to them. In it’s day, this ad broke the mold because:
• It had stopping power. By using copper metallic ink, the textured bones, and printing the ad on premium stock, we were able to “break the book” of many medical journals and create immediate interest.
• The color and the texture fueled the memory and made this a highly recalled ad in many of the “check studies” that were regularly done by journals at that time.
• Certainly, the ad generated interest, Feldene became a highly recognized and successful brand within a year of launch.
• It set the stage for the brand experience, the metallic copper color and “sandpaper bones” became synonymous with the brand.
Awards and honors received: (LLNS says) While we’ve dug through our archives, we can’t find a list of awards for this ad, but we can assure you it won plenty!



Name of Product: Rocephin
Name of Company: Roche Laboratories
Agency Submitting: Sudler & Hennessey
Creative/Account Team: Copy: Diane Cooney, Diane Ohye, Brett Lowell, Laura Tozzo, and others Art: Arthur Kaufman, Dick Russinko, Guy Desimini, and others Account: Ned Putnam
Creative Rationale: The Rocephin apple campaign is one of the most iconic brand campaigns in our industry. The image says it all – once–a-day for health. And amazingly, the campaign message remained vital for more than a decade, from its introduction in 1989 through the brand’s loss of exclusivity in 2005.
This campaign was unique in its ability to establish and remain true to a singular and powerful brand image, yet keep it fresh with new creative executions. It was also innovative in its promise, as the first parenteral hospital antibiotic to leverage once-daily dosing as a benefit – when conventional wisdom held that multiple daily doses were needed for serious infections.
Awards and honors received: Best Professional campaign, MANNY 2004; Rx Club Award of Excellence, 2004; Gold, MM&M Awards, 2004; …and others!

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View from the Top 2016

May 13, 2016

Let your future leaders learn about leadership

What better way to ensure our industry’s next generation of top players–and what better way to guide them than those who’ve been there. You can send up to 15 of your young executives to this special event, where they’ll learn what it takes to lead, from whatever position they hold.

Monday, July 18th, 2016
Ogilvy Worldwide Headquarters
636 11th Ave, New York, NY 10036 (between 46th and 47th Streets)
Admission: $85 (see details below)
Register here

View the official invite here
Complimentary wine and beer

Robert Palmer, MAHF Chairperson, EVP, Managing Director, JUICE Pharma
Charlene Prounis, Program Chair, CEO, Flashpoint Medica

Sharon Callahan – CEO, TBWA\World Health Group
Matt Geigrich – Chairman & CEO Ogilvy CommonHealth
Kathy Delaney – Chief Creative Officer, Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness
Steve Nothel – Partner & Chief of Client Services, H4B Chelsea

Ken Begasse Jr – COO, Concentric Health Experience
Sharon Callahan – CEO, TBWA\WorldHealth
Jay Carter – SVP, Director of Strategy Services, AbelsonTaylor
Kathy Delaney – CCO, Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness
Matt Geigrich – Chairman & CEO, Ogilvy CommonHealth
Tim Hawkey – Managing Director & ECD, Area 23
Louisa Holland – Co-CEO, the Americas, Sudler & Hennessey
Rich Levy – CCO, FCB Health
Jennifer Matthews – President & Managing Partner, The Bloc
Lois Moran – CEO, Juice Pharma Worldwide
Meaghan Onofrey – Managing Partner, TBWA\WorldHealth
Robert Palmer – EVP, Managing Director, Juice Pharma
Mike Parisi – Managing Partner, Ogilvy CommonHealth
Robin Roberts – EVP, Director of Client Services, Flashpoint Medica
Adrian Sansone – EVP, Managing Director, Digitas Health NY LifeBrands

For agencies registering more than one person, please designate billing contact. An invoice will be sent to that person from the MAHF. When registering, please provide all the names and emails of the people attending.

For agencies registering people, the most important thing is the number of people, as names can be substituted. The number of people attending can be sent via email to Emily Chou or at the door.

For individuals registering, an invoice will be sent directly to you once the event is held. Once you have completed and submitted your reservations, a confirmation will be sent to you.

(Agencies registering 15 or more attendees pay $65 per person)

(Full payment is required prior to the event)

Credit card payments are possible once your invoice has been issued. Cancellations accepted up to 48 hours prior to the event. After that, all reservations will be billed.
Substitutions allowed.


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Digital Pioneer Awards Nominations

December 16, 2015

Selection Process for MAHF Digital Pioneer Awards

The process for nomination and election of the Digital Pioneer Awards closely mirrors the process used for selecting inductees into the Medical Advertising Hall of Fame and is detailed on the submission forms.

Nomination Submission
Nominations may be only be submitted by agency members of the MAHF. Each member agency will receive an invitation to submit nominations and may submit a maximum of two nominations this year. The work nominated need not have been done by the submitting agency. All nominations should be submitted using the form indicated in the invitation. Nominations must identify a digital program that is retired.

Submissions should include a description of the target customer, critical insights, creative rationale and the core clinical focus—whether it was a novel program/event, or considered innovative for its time. With all digitally oriented programs, the customer’s (user) experience is key to success, so submissions will benefit from detailed insights about the program’s engagement strategies. It’s recommended to include past awards earned and any data and ROI results, as well as any positive outcomes. Details about visual design and how it impacted usability and other pertinent information about the program are recommended and welcomed. Finally, the nominations should be supported with visual demonstrations. These can include print, online video (Vimeo), DVD/CD, or actual archived online examples that will assist in judging access and viewing. Submission instructions are included in the nomination invitation and online form.

The nominations will be reviewed by board members of the MAHF member agencies at a General Meeting, and ideally should be presented in person. The Membership will vote at that meeting to reduce the nominations to a list of “finalists” that will be voted on by the full membership.

All member agencies will receive a ballot and supporting nomination materials from the Executive Director, with one vote per member agency. The Executive Director will tally the votes and two campaigns per year will receive the Digital Pioneer Award and become part of the MAHF Wall of Fame.

Learn more about the MAHF Digital Pioneer Awards »

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Digital Pioneer Awards

December 16, 2015

Digital Pioneer Awards

Considering today’s constantly changing communications world, it seems appropriate that those who pioneered early-on digital communications be recognized by the Medical Advertising Hall of Fame. The Digital Pioneer Awards were created to honor those who looked beyond traditional advertising and created groundbreaking, innovative communications that attracted and engaged audiences. It requires a talented team with a varied set of skills to create outstanding digital communications and this award provides a means for recognizing the team responsible for everything from concept to execution of these outstanding works.

Go to Digital Pioneer Award Nominations »
See the Digital Pioneer Award Winners »

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Heritage Awards Nominations

September 15, 2015

Selection Process for MAHF Heritage Awards

The process for nomination and election of the Heritage Award closely mirrors the process used for selecting inductees into the Medical Advertising Hall of Fame.

Nominations may be only be submitted by agency members of the MAHF. Each member agency will receive an invitation to submit nominations, and may submit a maximum of two nominations per year. The work nominated need not have been done by the agency submitting it. All nominations should be submitted using the form indicated in the invitation. Nominations must identify a retired campaign – one not in use currently – and the team that brought that campaign to life. Special attention should focus upon the insight and core clinical need articulated by the campaign, the creative rationale for the campaign, and results of the campaign… including reaction by other members of the industry. Let’s face it, we have all seen ads where we said: “I wish I had done that one!”

The nominations will be reviewed by board members of the MAHF member agencies at a General Meeting with the objective of identifying “finalists,” those that the membership will be asked to cast ballots for.

All member agencies will receive a ballot and supporting nomination materials from the Executive Director, with each member agency casting votes for the two campaigns they think warrant election. The Executive Director will tally the votes and two campaigns per year will receive the Heritage Award at the Annual Awards Dinner, and be part of the MAHF Wall of Fame.

Learn more about the MAHF Heritage Awards »

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Heritage Awards

September 05, 2015

Heritage Awards

Consistent with the goal of the MAHF to preserve the history of healthcare advertising by honoring those whose contributions made a positive difference, the Heritage Award has been established. Oftentimes we remember the great campaigns that have moved us without reflecting upon the talent and perseverance that created those campaigns. The Heritage Award allows the industry to pay appropriate homage to writers, art directors, and account people who made a great campaign come to life.

Go to Heritage Award Nominations »
See the Heritage Award Winners »

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In Memoriam Thomas Domanico – 1941-2015

August 25, 2015

On August 24, 2015, the Medical Advertising profession lost one of its most notable members.

Thomas Domanico was widely considered one of the industry’s brightest creative minds, with a long history of outstanding work. He was also a skilled manager and leader. He joined Vicom, a small, six-man agency in San Francisco, and built it into Draft/FCB, a 600-member industry-leading ad agency, serving as its chairman and CEO.

Tom was a gentleman in every sense of the word. He was always first to pitch in when something needed to be done or someone needed help.

Tom was one of the first to support the Medical Advertising Hall of Fame, and served two years as its chairperson. Fittingly, in 2014, after his retirement made him eligible, he was inducted into the Hall he had helped to build. His induction Dinner was special for the many people he had worked with and helped during his time in the industry.

While Tom’s career was exceptional, and his accomplishments many, perhaps the greatest tribute to him was that so many people always referred to him the same way, “Tom is one of the good guys.”

His many friends in the industry and the MAHF will miss him.


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