Heritage Award Winners

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

2017
2016
2015
2014


2017

Prevacid

Prevacid

Name of Company: TAP Pharmaceuticals (now Takeda Pharmaceuticals)
Agency which created Ad: Abelson Taylor
Agency submitting: Abelson Taylor
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


Blaxin

Blaxin

Name of Company: Abbott Pharmaceutical Products Division (now AbbVie)
Agency which created Ad: Abelson Taylor
Agency submitting: Abelson Taylor
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




2016

Benadryl

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.


Tarceva

Tarceva

Name of Company: Genentech/Roche Pharmaceuticals
Agency which created Ad: Abelson Taylor
Agency submitting: Abelson Taylor
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.




2015

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

Bentyl

Bentyl

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.



Hytrin

Hytrin

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.




2014

Feldene

Feldene

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!


Rocephin

Rocephin

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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