We have a winner: Takeda’s 'IBD Superheroes' takes DTC #FierceMadness trophy

Takeda/Marvel IBD comic
Takeda’s "IBD Superheroes" defeated Boehringer Ingelheim's "Red Fish" Pradaxa ad by a score of 1,072 to 740.

All hail the #FierceMadness champion. Takeda’s IBD Superheroes ad is pharma’s North Carolina Tarheels, winning the championship in our first DTC advertising tournament.

By a final score of 1,072 to 740, the Takeda-Marvel comics collaboration beat Boehringer Ingelheim’s "Red Fish" Pradaxa ad in the final matchup.

Voters expressed admiration for both campaigns—some noting the difficulty in comparing a print disease awareness effort with branded TV work. As one wrote, “Both really great, think the comic book has longevity beyond a video.”

In fact, that video—the Pradaxa TV commercial—may have been weighed down by the required language on claims and side effects, with several commenters pointing out that weakness.

“While I think the Pradaxa ad uses an interesting visual vehicle to clearly show how red blood cells move through vasculature in the body, the ad spot spends 80% of its time explaining side effects and legal language,” one voter wrote.

Takeda’s Superhero winning inflammatory bowel disease awareness campaign was a joint effort with Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) and Marvel Custom Solutions. The first-ever pharma company-sponsored superhero, named Samarium, suffered with IBD, often in silence. The initiative included digital and printed graphic novels that grew to include four more Superheroes that were IBD sufferers or caregivers.

Thanks to all who voted in this year’s tournament. Stay tuned for FiercePharma’s final wrap of the contest, coming next week, and a recap of the top ads in our reporters' and editors’ brackets.