Editors' Choice: Our Top 5 DTC ad picks for 2016

Social media marketing
The editors and reporters of FiercePharmaMarketing have selected our favorite DTC ads for the year.

During the recent FiercePharma DTC March Madness-styled tournament open to any and all voters, Takeda’s Superhero comics for IBD awareness finished first, followed by Boehringer-Ingelheim’s Red Fish campaign for Pradaxa.

The Superhero work impressed with creativity, empathy for sufferers and the use of a new and innovative medium, while Red Fish unanimously took its prize for creative, vivid and easy-to-understand imagery. We agree. The two finalists were great campaigns. But other excellent campaigns got knocked out too early. They were ads that may have been too controversial—love got them votes, but hate got them eliminated. Or they were ads that came up against exuberant in-house balloting, which, although perfectly legal—keep that in mind for next year, also-rans—may have skewed some contests.

So now it’s our turn. The editors and reporters of FiercePharmaMarketing got together to select our top picks for the year. Some impressed us with creativity, while others broke new ground or proved particularly effective.

Great advertising can be visually arresting or cleverly humorous, controversial or uplifting, but most of all makes a personal connection. We can all agree that smiling people riding bikes on a sunny day or strolling happily along a beach with their dogs just won’t cut it anymore. To rise to the top of pharma advertising, marketers must recognize that people want to feel linked in, especially in healthcare, which is so personal, private, and important to the quality of everyday life.

So we present, in no particular order, our picks for the top five pharma campaigns of 2016.

Excedrin Migraine Simulator
“Actually She Can” female health awareness
Kybella “Ancestors”
“Before it Became a Medicine” corporate campaign
“Face Your Risk” food allergy awareness