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Ad Lib blog

Creative critiques of pharma and healthcare ads and campaigns

Call to action: Hits and misses

Click onto the video links and PDFs – and find out which of these Sara Jones believes will get an audience past ‘go’…

There's no doubt that as busy consumers, we are drawn to brands that communicate their message clearly and succinctly. Add in a dash of humour and / or emotional connection, a splash of authority and you'll have a successful campaign on your hands.

The three examples I've selected all suggest a call to action – some more successfully than others.

Help Remedies and its partnership with DKMS (the world's largest bone marrow registry) make the bone marrow registry process look so simple how could anyone refuse?

Meanwhile the Boots Here Come the Girls campaigns give the prompt, and permission, to embrace the spirit of each season as soon as the ad is viewed.

When an idea is worth spreading it can have an incredibly positive effect on brand / campaign awareness often resulting in great business growth. But you don't need me to tell you that.

See what you think of these examples… meanwhile as autumn sets in, my heating is up, my bath is running and I have my face pack at the ready. Enjoy…

Help (I cut myself &) I want to save a life



I want to save a life

Agency: Droga5 New York 

A Cannes Lion Grand Prix Award Winner this year, this is a truly inspired idea – combining the moment you reach for a plaster with the opportunity to save a life, communicated through an engaging and considered animation.

It wasn’t dreamt up by some huge marketing team or hulking great advertising agency but by a tutor and students from a design school in the United States who approached Help Remedies with the idea to provide a simple-to-use bone marrow registry kit with each packet of plasters.

Help responded immediately and the rest is wonderful history. Since being presented at TED Full Spectrum earlier this year, the animation has been seen by over 50m people, sales have increased by 1,900 per cent and, most importantly, in only a few months the Bone Marrow Registry has tripled in size.

Boots ‘Here Come The Girls’: ‘First Leaf’ TV ad



Here Come The Girls

Agency: Mother London

I love the Boots ‘Here Come The Girls’ advertising – it does such a great job of playing on the humour of everyday life with characters you can relate to. 

Given the healthcare theme, it doesn’t take itself too seriously and really promotes a call to action – after seeing ‘First Leaf’ I immediately went out to buy vitamins for the family in preparation for the cold and flu season. 

The ‘Here Come the Girls’ theme carries across to the Boots Opticians campaigns just as successfully – taking accurate everyday observations and adding a nice touch of humour, all with a call to action.  

Overall it’s an excellent campaign theme, like a gift that keeps on giving by retaining a consistent brand message with longevity so much so that you look forward to the next one.

And, ‘Here Come the Girls’ has just won Bronze at the 2012 IPA Effectiveness Awards.

Transport for London: Unnecessary engine idling



Unnecessary engine idling

Agency: M&C Saatchi 

A less captivating example… you would have to spend time unnecessarily idling in your vehicle to work out what these ads were trying to tell you. The first one I spotted proposed that a small switch could help cut heart disease and I just did not get it. 

How can turning a switch help cut heart disease? Especially when unloading – was this in case your load was particularly heavy and might put a strain on your heart? 

By the time I saw the lung cancer version the message was becoming clearer, however, the switch from vital organ to asthma inhaler lost me again. According to the Transport for London (TFL) website, the first phase of the campaign did see a reduction in engine idling – although the mind boggles at how this was quantified!

Article by
Sara Jones

Client services director at brand design consultancy Dew Gibbons

8th November 2012

From: Marketing



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