Synchronized dancers jazz up Reckitt Benckiser's new MegaRed pitch

Reckitt Benckiser's MegaRed is shaking up the fish oil supplement market--literally. Its new ad campaign, which features synchronized dancers gracefully moving to form different shapes, deviates notably from the traditional OTC omega-3 script of talking head experts.

The multimedia campaign created by McCann HumanCare is meant to help viewers visualize MegaRed's competitive advantage among the heart-healthy omega-3 supplements, said Leo Tarkovsky, president of the McCann Health consumer health and wellness unit. Made from krill oil, MegaRed is easily absorbed into the body, he said.

In the TV spot, airing in both 15-second and 30-second versions, 48 choreographed dancers in matching-colored unitards move together to form a pink heart, then a yellow fish and finally a red arrow.

"How do you take a clinically sounding concept and bring it to life? You need to do it in good faith and do it accurately obviously, but also you need to create an educational message that's relevant and easily understood," Tarkovsky said in a FiercePharmaMarketing interview. "That's one of the hardest things to do in health and wellness--and by the way, that challenge applies all across health from CPG wellness-type products all the way to … super-sophisticated biologic types of molecules."

Tarkovsky said the agency's experience with a wide range of pharma and health and wellness clients, along with its many consumer marketing creative staffers, were both important in coming up with the unique work. He noted that many of the people who worked on the MegaRed campaign had not done healthcare advertising before.

"What comes out of that (combination of strengths) is a healthcare story, or a wellness story, which has science behind it, but is wrapped in a very consumer-meaningful package that makes it relevant and relatable to anyone," he said.

Chris Tedesco, the general manager of U.S. marketing at RB, said in a statement, "The McCann team was able to take a very functional and educational message and create a visually arresting campaign that stands out amongst the competition."

This is McCann's first campaign for MegaRed since winning the business in late 2014. McCann also serves several other RB brands including Mucinex, Delsym, Airborne and Move Free.

MegaRed competes in the OTC omega-3 fish oil supplement category with such brands as Bayer's Pro Ultra Omega-3 and Nature Made Fish Oil. Spending on fish oil and related supplements in the U.S. is estimated at $1.2 billion.

There is also a class of prescription heart meds derived from fish oils that includes GlaxoSmithKline's ($GSK) Lovaza, AstraZeneca's ($AZN) Epanova and Amarin's ($AMRN) Vascepa, all which are FDA-approved to treat extremely high levels of triglycerides. Teva Pharmaceutical ($TEVA) launched a generic of Lovaza in 2014. AstraZeneca and ad agency DigitasLBI won the top pharma Cannes' Lions Health award last year for its awareness campaign for ultrahigh triglycerides called "Take It From a Fish."

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