The 2020 Fierce Pharma Marketing Awards

award trophy
Judges evaluated entries across 13 categories to choose the winners highlighted here. (Getty Images)

Pharma and advertising agency doors may be closed this year, but creativity is still flowing. The second annual Fierce Pharma Marketing Awards proves that decidedly.

From campaigns built on digital augmented reality to heartfelt patient letters, the depth and breadth of pharma marketers’ creativity in this year’s contest ran the gamut. Even though teams were forced to work together virtually in many cases, they still managed a remote meeting of the minds that resulted in innovative and seamless campaigns.

And much as marketers did in 2019's inaugural Fierce Pharma Marketing Awards, this year's 13 winners and many more entrants continued to illustrate that the industry is moving aggressively away from once-typical and formulaic TV ads and wading into modern media channels like social and even filmmaking. Case in point: The two categories that attracted the most entries this year were social media for consumers and online video or film.

Among this year’s best is a forthright and eye-opening online documentary series about health inequalities among asthma patients in upstate New York. Another winner created a galvanizing COVID-19 innovation challenge to quickly counter rising concerns around ventilator shortages.

The 2020 judges matched the winners' caliber as some of the most innovative thinkers in health and pharma advertising today. They included Toby Trygg from Ogilvy Health, Megan Rokosh from Havas Health & You, Jorge Daboub from Univision, Sam Dolin from Klick Health, Tim Jones from McCann Health and Wendy Lund from GCI.

The judges reviewed entries across 13 different categories; none of them reviewed any work that might have been submitted by their own agencies or agency networks.

While FiercePharma initially planned an in-person awards ceremony and dinner for the award winners, the pandemic put the brakes on that celebration. However, the winners were honored during Digital Pharma Innovation Week; different marketers were profiled each day during lunch, and trophies and champagne were sent to their homes.

If 2020 has shown us anything so far, it’s that life can turn in an instant. Fortunately, the resilient pharma marketers on this list—and in our stories and profiles every week—will continue to turn with it.