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The PM Society Advertising Awards 2002

Published on 14/10/03 at 03:51pm

This year the PM Society added a new category, Best Abbreviated Advert, to better reflect the breadth of advertising formats, bringing the number of entries to over 400 across 18 categories. The Geoff Brook Award for Innovation in Advertising recognised an entirely new sales format - the telephone and PC-based GP sales detail.

Presenting the award to service providers Innovex and Synigence, and client Novartis, PM Society Chairman Mike Gale said the e-detailing project for ACE inhibitor Diovan has produced some very positive results. The lengthy detail times achieved and in-depth discussions of clinical data had impressed the judges, he said, concluding: "This new medium represents a significant addition to our promoting options."

The two Target Audience Awards judged by GPs proved once again this year that doctors and advertising executives seldom agree on what makes a good advert. Asked to judge adverts on six qualities, including credibility, impact and informativeness, a sample of GPs chose a completely different set of adverts from those in selected by industry craft award judges.

Norris Lincoln Adcom's latest Lamisil adverts for Novartis won Best GP Journal Advertisement, winning back the prize the campaign two years ago. Similarly, GPs awarded RFA Advertising with the top spot for their Loceryl GP Direct Mailing for Galderma, although the entry had not even made the shortlist for the equivalent craft award.

As seen in previous awards, this year was dominated by just a handful of creative agencies riding high on the profile of the most memorable campaigns.

In the Craft Awards, Swordfish Advertising won both the GP Direct Mail and Hospital Direct Mail for their work on Shires Calcichew D3 Forte and Adept respectively, with several more nominations in other categories.

Meanwhile, Woolley Pau and Lowe Azure were the two agencies with the highest profile campaigns in the GP category, with Lowe Azure's Tritace campaign for Aventis eventually wining the coveted Best Art Direction, Best Overall GP Journal Advertisement and best GP Campaign awards.

Christian Dawson, Account Director at Woolley Pau, says the agency's Best Copywriting award for Bristol-Myers Squibb and Sankyos Lipostat has also had a big impact on the target audience. "Feedback from doctors has been terrific; everyone seems to have their own favourite. That's interesting, but to be honest were more excited by the fact that sales are growing at a faster rate than the market for a brand that is 10 years old."

Christian says he is also pleased the adverts manage to convey the reasonably complicated medical story behind the product. "Lipostat isn't the statin that lowers cholesterol the most. But then statins are more fundamentally about reducing coronary risk and saving lives. Doctors know that Lipostat has the most evidence that it can do that. So prescribing Lipostat is a decision that reflects well on the prescriber  or put more simply 'good medicine'."

Christian also paid tribute to Bristol-Myers Squibb and Sankyo for the trust they put into the relationship: "We produce good ideas consistently, but it's the clients who have faith in our thinking that end up with the best campaigns."

Meanwhile, Lowe Azure's campaign has already been hugely successful, winning recognition at the UK HAAG awards, and the US and international Globals and Rx Club competitions, where they won a coveted gold.

Lowe Azure's Creative Director Jon Watson says the campaign was born out of a four-way pitch by Aventis after their existing ad - which featured a ransom note - was thought unsuitable in the aftermath of 11 September. "We knew we had a fresh idea with the 'Save the...' campaign, but we didn't realise how well it tied in with Tritace's past. Aventis had used penguins way back when they first launched the brand  I wish I could say it was all part of a cunning plan but it was pure serendipity. And the client liked the idea of saving a few more penguins."

He says that the advert has not only proven itself very memorable in spontaneous recall tests but also helped Aventis increase sales as the drug approaches its patent expiry date next year.

Jon says the agency was lucky to have a client open to fresh ideas, and used Tritaces unique status as the only ACE inhibitor with proven life-saving qualities to forge a memorable advert. But despite having a serious message to impart, the creatives decided that using mundane 'everyday' images and ideas would not do the product justice.

"Telling someone they can actually save lives is an incredibly powerful promise. Juxtaposed to humour, its even more powerful," he says "The whole idea behind the campaign comes from that 1970s bumper sticker generation. All the tree-huggers were telling us to bath with a friend and slogans like 'Save the Whale' became part of our culture. Thank God for Hippies."

For a full list of the winners visit: www.pmsociety.org.uk

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