Amgen, GSK, Novartis, BI spots head to the #FierceMadness Final Four

FierceMadness2019
Get ready to rumble with the Final Four DTC ad campaigns in #FierceMadness. (FiercePharma)

It's down to the Final Four in the #FierceMadness 2019 ad campaign tournament. Just four brands remain—Amgen's Repatha will take on GlaxoSmithKline's Trelegy, while Novartis and Amgen's Aimovig will face Boehringer Ingelheim's Ofev in a short round of voting that ends Tuesday at midnight.

In the Elite Eight round, Repatha and its ghost emergency worker ad topped Gilead Science’s Truvada honest PrEP talk to win the East division by a score of 458-294. Voters continue to like the balance of warning and lifestyle in the Repatha ad, with one noting it, “conveys urgency via the possibility of what you don't want to happen, but balances it with what’s important in your life.”

GSK’s catchy 1-2-3 ad topped Merck’s Keytruda patient and doctor testimonials by a score of 663-285. While voters were inspired by the Keytruda stories, they were even more struck by the easy-to-remember theme song with a message. “Snappy and functional—three medicines, works three ways, three-in-one. Straightforward way to break through the ‘sea of sameness’ in this category,” said one commenter.

In the South division, Aimovig’s migraine headache reality bested Dermira's hyperhidrosis awareness reminder to “Check Your Sweat” by a wide margin of 1,564-416. The ups and downs of life shown in the migraine ad continue to win voters over, especially those who get them. As one noted, “If you suffer from migraine, you know it's not just about pain—it's about missing out on life! Finally, a brand that actually understands!”

The final matchup in the Elite Eight saw Boehringer Ingelheim’s boxing son for Ofev knock out Novartis’ trash-talking wrestler for carcinoid awareness by a 1,064-311 margin. While the campy wrestler had fans who called him “hilarious,” the story of a father and son for Ofev made for a “pharma TV spot that's beautifully shot. Great storytelling!” as one commenter wrote.

Vote here for the final two contenders through Tuesday night at midnight ET. Check on Wednesday for the winner and to vote for the last two ad campaigns standing in #FierceMadness 2019.

Final Four round (Vote here)

(1) Repatha vs. (4) Trelegy

Ad: Repatha "Emergency Worker Ghosts"
Company: Amgen
Happy family and dinner scenes are interrupted with flashing lights and sirens and the specters of emergency workers to help viewers imagine the dangers of sudden heart attack or stroke. 

Ad: Trelegy "Easy as 1-2-3"
Company: GlaxoSmithKline
This ad uses a throwback soundtrack to Jackson 5’s “Easy as 1-2-3” to highlight Trelegy, a 3-in-1 inhaler medicine.

(4) Ofev vs. (8) Aimovig

Ad: Ofev "Family Ties"
Company: Boehringer Ingelheim
The boxer son of an idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis patient narrates the commercial, talking about his dad’s fight with IPF and how he inspires him.

Ad: Aimovig "I Am Here"
Companies: Novartis and Amgen
A next-gen migraine treatment gets the full TV campaign debut with ads that push the value of being fully present for all of life’s ups and downs.

Suggested Articles

After global recalls of heartburn medicine Zantac and an FDA ban, the Department of Justice is investigating Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline.

The CD19 antibody, used in tandem with Celgene's Revlimid, represents the first FDA approval in second-line diffuse large B-cell lymphoma.

Sanofi has faced a probe into birth defects tied to seizure med Depakine for years. Now, the investigation is moving forward on manslaughter charges.