Wellness Without Borders

>> Wednesday, April 29, 2009

First it was global economic despair, and now it's the spread of the swine flu. If we didn't realize it before, we certainly now know that wellness has no borders. And by wellness I don't just mean diet, exercise, and sleep. There is a whole spectrum of factors that make up our wellness, including our financial status and our current state of healthiness.

There are aspects of wellness that prove we are all in it together. We are a community (big, small, and everything in between) that shapes and affects each other --- mentally and physically -- whether it's because of our bank accounts, our flu symptoms, or just our collective state-of-being. When one of us has wellness out of whack, it can affect the rest of us. The spread of germs and credit risk are just two very recent examples.

We see it here at the agency everyday as we meet consumers. Consumers who are dealing with a new diagnosis that will change their lives forever, or those that are merely trying to fight the signs of aging. As we deal with our own personal wellness challenges, we rely on others in our community to help us make good wellness choices to shape our lives.

And as we are now seeing, the lives of others. Let's make good wellness choices together.

Hope this finds you well -- Jim.


Bringing a Good Idea to Life

>> Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The agency and our client have both gotten a lot of attention for our Ambien CR "Rooster" Campaign. It's a fully integrated campaign that I believe stacks up with the best of them in terms of strategic relevance, creativity, and results.

Besides, how often can you get a big corporation to approve something called "Silence Your Rooster"!


What I love most about this campaign though, aside from the results that it produced for the Ambien CR brand, is that it was a labor of love of a few very creative people (not all of them "creatives") who came up with a cool idea, who made it work for the brand, who brought it to life wonderfully, and who stuck with it through layer upon layer of approval and production.

That's what's great about this business -- creating an idea that you can own and that you can bring to life. That produces results.

You can meet some of those folks here: http://pharmexec.findpharma.com/pharmexec/article/articleDetail.jsp?id=585599

And to top it all off, the agency won a Manny Award last week for the campaign and it also made the first cut of The One Show.

Not bad for a few agency marketers who had a cool idea. A cool idea that was strategically sound and that produced incredible results.

Hope this finds you well -- Jim.


The Economy and Wellness

>> Monday, April 27, 2009

Read an interesting article from the NYTimes on the current state of sleeplessness, and how sleep aids are one of a few businesses doing well in this economy.


My agency works in the sleep category on the Rx side for Ambien CR, and I personally have experience in the OTC category as well. I can certainly confirm the economic effect on the nation's sleeplessness. It has not just boosted OTC sales, but sales of Rx options as well.

We work in a few categories that are weathering the economic storm quite well --- condoms is another healthy business these days. Nothing wrong with handling stress the good old fashioned way!

The economy has impacted personal wellness on many levels, not just sleep or sex. Our attitudes and behaviors are changing more dramatically than at any other time in many of our own personal histories.

The agency is in the midst of fielding a "social media" survey on our attitudes towards wellness to get a good sense of how people are reacting to the stresses of the economy.

If you'd like to participate, please do at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=YvSlBfn_2bq_2fnXa00c4fIjkQ_3d_3d

While the results are not complete yet, we are starting to get a peek at some trends. What are we finding?

The people who've answered so far are definitely experiencing more anxiety, stress, frustration and fear as a result of the economy. We're working more and sleeping less. No surprise there.

But there is some surprisingly good news too. We're taking better care of ourselves including exercising more, dieting, and eating more healthfully. Some are reporting cutting down on junk food, fats, sugar, and -- wait for it -- alcohol.

We're re-discovering some forgotten pleasures like reading, window-shopping, and we are finding ways to hang out with friends that doesn't cost a dime.

When it comes to defining wellness, people said that last year it was all about health. This year, being healthy is still important, but it's even more important to feel balanced and secure.

We will release the full story soon. Johanna Skilling is our Director of Strategic Planning and she is anxious to report in. Stay tuned.

Hope this finds you well -- Jim.


Columbia University

>> Friday, April 24, 2009

A few weeks ago I spoke at Columbia University and spent some time with the Biotech Association. Great group of totally engaged people potentially interested in careers in advertising and marketing.

I just saw some commentary on my talk, which I find so fascinating.


The commentary compares me to a scientist. Now I've been compared to many things in my career, but a scientist --- never. How wonderful and thought provoking.

Thanks to all the great folks up at Columbia that I met that evening --- I wish you all well in your pursuits.

Hope this finds you well -- Jim.


Manny Awards

The Manny Awards were this week, and I have to tell you that it was a lot of fun. Sure, easy to say when your agency wins two big awards, especially when one of them is for Most Creative Agency. But the truth is that the awards were fun because they were so well produced and incredibly well attended.

It's not very often that the pharmaceutical industry gets together to recognize our own achievements. In a time of increased public distrust, economic despair, and workplace demands, it's refreshing to just simply acknowledge each other and say "hey, you do great work!"

As my Chief Creative Officer Helayne Spivak says, "when you're put in a box, make the box beautiful!"

Here's a link to our press release: http://pitch.pe/9673ch.pe/9673

To all who attended the Manny Awards, it was great being there with you.

Hope this finds you well -- Jim.