The DTC #FierceMadness championship is set: Will Red Fish or IBD Superheroes win it all?

basketball and bracket imagery
Pradaxa's "Red Fish" takes on Takeda's "IBD Superheroes" in the DTC #FierceMadness tournament final, with voting open through Tuesday at midnight ET.

The big DTC dance has come down to this: Pradaxa’s "Red Fish" will take on Takeda’s "IBD Superheroes" in the final matchup of the DTC #FierceMadness tournament.

After a long weekend of voting with more than 1,740 ballots cast, Boehringer Ingelheim’s anticoagulant campaign, created by ad agency GSW, beat out its Final Four competitor, the "Actually She Can" female empowerment campaign from Allergan. But as they have throughout the tournament, commenters continued to express strong feelings about Allergan’s effort, praising the timing and relevance of the work.

“At a time where healthcare for women in America may be so undermined, Allergan has stood up for this so elegantly,” wrote one voter, while another said, “What a moving way to highlight trailblazing women, with a powerful connection back to the campaign.”


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Yet, it was "Red Fish" that garnered the most votes in the end, winning by a final score of 585-297. One voter summarized BI's work as "the freshest, most original, iconic and memorable spot in years."

"All the other campaigns are very well-done versions of things we've seen before. Props to everyone that made it this far. It's all work worthy of celebrating, but being truly original in this space is the holy grail of creativity," the voter added.

In the other Final Four matchup, Takeda’s comic book collaboration with Marvel to create IBD superheroes who are also patients and caregivers triumphed over Janssen’s Prezcobix words of wisdom campaign for HIV patients and community members.

Again, commenters supported Prezcobix, with one noting the importance of “encouraging patients to take control, speak up, and advocate for themselves and others.”

But "Superheroes" ultimately took the win by a final score of 891-317.

As one voter wrote of Takeda: “Impressed with their storytelling. There should be more campaigns that partner with patients this way." Another, who self-identified as an IBD patient, said, “People don't understand that IBD is an incredibly serious and debilitating disease—it's not a joke. What this graphic novel does is give a powerful voice to the people with IBD and those who care for us.”

There's only one thing left to do now, and that's vote to crown the tournament champion. The polls will stay open through Tuesday at midnight ET—and don't forget to check back Wednesday to find out who wins it all.

Ad: Pradaxa “Red Fish”
Company: Boehringer Ingelheim
Boehringer Ingelheim’s swimming red fish, as representative of red blood cells, illustrated how those cells move and sometimes clot when traveling between the heart and brain.

Ad: “Superhero Comic Books” for IBD disease awareness
Company: Takeda 
Partnering with Marvel comics, Takeda created a new superhero and cast of characters to fight the good fight against inflammatory bowel disease in both digital and custom-published comic books.

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