'Before it Became a Medicine' corporate campaign

Pfizer's “Before it Became a Medicine” corporate campaign was “surprisingly thoughtful and inspiring.”

Pharma: Pfizer
Ad agency: HealthWork (a joint venture between BBDO New York and CDM)

The pharma industry needed a boost last year. Midway through a bruising presidential election season in which the only thing Democrats and Republicans agreed on was how much they both hated the pharma industry—compounded by drug price inflation accusations and scandals—“Before it Became a Medicine” arrived.

A much-needed reprieve, the science-filled journey of the difficult but rewarding road of a drug from idea to treatment was “surprisingly thoughtful and inspiring,” as Adweek wrote.

The industry felt it, too. One #FierceMadness voter wrote, “The Pfizer campaign is upbeat and makes us all feel like we're on the same team.”

Along with the 60-second ad that spotlights five real Pfizer scientists, the marketing team built a website that features a powerful 2:30 video intertwining the story (and eventual meeting) of Pfizer cancer researcher Bob Abraham and a young man named Matt, a cancer survivor now studying for his Ph.D. to be just like the guy who saved his life. The inspiring story of both men—Abraham lost his own father to cancer, and Matt went from stage 4 lung cancer to marrying the love of his life—epitomizes the reasons why many people work in the pharma industry.

“Before it Became a Medicine” is a needed reminder of the scientists who work to develop ideas, face rejection and refusals, finally hear the word Yes, and then watch promising drugs fail trials—but still keep working with dedication and hope to find treatments. 


'Before it Became a Medicine' corporate campaign