Got Wellness?

>> Sunday, May 31, 2009

As a marketer at heart, not only do I love to do good marketing, I also love to observe it.  I've been an admirer of the "got milk" campaign since it's inception.  It's such a great example of a campaign that has consistently stayed on course for years now, yet has remained fresh and relevant all along the way.

Take a look at the latest incarnation, "Drink Well.  Live Well."

Fabulous!  These folks are taking milk to the next level, wellness.   First it was strong bones, then it was losing weight, and now it's all about wellness.  Milk, a proper wellness choice.   Right after my own heart!

They've also evolved the campaign from its core "print" roots that featured stunning photography to an entire online destination and information source.  Fabulous again.

Congratulations, and in my opinion a nomination for the "marketing hall of fame" is in order.

Hope this finds you well -- Jim.


Out of Africa

>> Wednesday, May 27, 2009

This post comes from one of our star ACDs, Sergio Flores. He writes about our work on Transitions lenses, specifically about the latest campaign which was shot in Africa. You can read about it here:

Or watch it here:

Hope this finds you well -- Jim.

Take it away, Serge!

What do elephants have to do with healthy sight?

I like geography, I do. But I had to look up exactly where Namibia was when I found out that’s where we would be shooting the latest Transitions Lenses campaign.

But let’s rewind a little bit.

Our client had asked us to come up with a creative platform that elevated the idea of healthy sight. You see, Transitions lenses not only protect you from damaging UV rays, they also reduce eye-strain and fatigue. They do this by adjusting to the light conditions without you even noticing. Which result in happy healthy eyes.

But that all sounds all so technical, we wanted something that had a tad more drama.

So, we came up with the idea people that use their eyes for a living—photographers, cinematographers, artists—endorse the product.

The clients liked the idea lot, but thought that the artist route was highfalutin. Philistines!

But they were right. Our suggestion was then to make it about nature documentary film-makers, and National Geographic photographers. Which if you think about it, gives the sun, and the changing light-conditions a bigger role. Which made the idea stronger. And landed us in Namibia. And South Africa. And Botswana. And India. And Japan

We shot two TV commercials in Africa. And three self-portraits by National Geographic photographers in Botswana, India and Japan.

Fast forward a little bit and—besides having a lot of fun and seeing elephants, giraffes, flamingos, gigantic sand dunes, bamboo forests and the odd smiling client—we were able to put together a fully integrated campaign. From TV commercials and interactive online adpods to print ads and video banners.

The result is a tremendously successful integrated campaign that we can all be proud of, including Planet Earth.

- Sergio Flores, ACD at Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness


Why I Love Brands

I love brands, I really do. Which I guess explains why I chose a career in marketing way back in high school.

Brands become something that we can rely on, something that we can trust. We incorporate them into our lives and they add value. We stick by brands when they stick by us. When we become loyal to a brand, it's because we've come to need it and we know exactly what to expect from it.

Which is why stories like the one featured on msnbc yesterday make me so frustrated. One of our Executive Assistants, Connie Zeros, found it for me. It is at the heart of what a brand is all about, and it is at the center of the controversy surrounding generic products. In this case, generic prescription drugs.

For those of you who also love brands, I encourage you to give it a read.

Hope this finds you well -- Jim.


A Wellness Tax

>> Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Tough economic times sometimes call for creative financing. Unlike the economy, healthcare costs are not slowing down, and any healthcare reform is likely to break the bank.

So several states are considering innovative ways to raise the funds needed to overhaul the healthcare system. One such idea under consideration is a new tax on products that deter wellness, specifically sugary drinks like sodas, energy drinks, even teas.

The thought is that foods that can lead to obesity which can lead to health issues like diabetes should help to pay for the added costs to the system.

You might call it a "wellness tax" to the manufacturers of these products, that you can bet will get passed onto consumers.

I doubt that such a tax will lower consumption of these products, and I have no idea if it will "raise" enough money -- but I certainly give credit to the law makers for thinking outside of the box. And for thinking about wellness. Not saying that I agree with it, but I admire the creativity.

Hope this finds you well -- Jim.


A Lubricant for the Economy

>> Thursday, May 21, 2009

There's a great article that ran in AdAge today about sexual intimacy products (i.e. lubes and toys) business, something that we've just entered ourselves with our recent new client Durex. You can read the article here:

Seems the economy is treating at least one category well: sex. We've always heard that sex sells, evidently that's true no matter what the state of 401(k)s, stocks, unemployment, or housing.

People are handling stress and saving money the best way they know how: staying home and enjoying each other's company. Let's give them some creds, and some help!

The big guns are now closely paying attention to the category, Johnson & Johnson and Church & Dwight (two personal alma maters for me, ironically). But with Durex, we will give them a run for their money!

Hope this finds you well -- Jim.


An Agency That Walks Together ...

>> Wednesday, May 20, 2009

I bring this post to you from one of our very talented writers, Paul Schmidt. Hope this finds you well -- Jim.

Take it away Paul!

Stepping Up—and Standing Out with Acorda Therapeutics at the MS Walk

You’ve seen a lot of great work from Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness lately… in the press… on TV… at the awards shows… the doctor’s office… Twitter… print… YouTube… Facebook… Pretty much anywhere you can make wellness, well, better (“weller” if it were a word).

But on Saturday, May 17th, I saw something even better—in the wilderness, of all places. Something I hope to see, every day for the rest of my career: people from our agency, joining together and making a difference for a great cause.

It was a cold, misty Saturday morning with heavy fog blanketing the steep hillside of Bear Mountain. As my friend Jim and I pulled into the parking lot for the MS Walk, a flock of vultures (the non-human kind) circled above. I was asking myself: how many bears gave Bear Mountain its name?

Lots of people were wearing ponchos, some were even wearing ski pants and jackets. I was wearing shorts and a tee shirt, kicking myself for forgetting to bring an extra layer and an umbrella.

As we approached the Acorda Therapeutics’ I Walk booth everything seemed to suddenly warm up. I noticed that even though the weather could have been a lot nicer, the people around me couldn’t have been happier. Over a thousand people gathered on a cold, rainy morning, pretty much in the middle of nowhere, to take a 3 or 7 mile walk for all the right reasons. The goal was to help raise money to find a cure for multiple sclerosis.

The Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness Team raised more than $3,000 this year, but even more impressive was the idea behind the I Walk Because booth itself.

Here, participants could design and write their own tee-shirts with a quote, capture it via a digital photo booth and post it on a giant tv monitor for everyone else at the Walk to see. In addition, you could make a short team video stating why—or who you were walking for, and then post it on the website ( This is one of the most innovate, and personalized ways to let people to share their thoughts I’ve ever seen.

Walk highlights include a pristine view of Hessian Lake, crossing the Bear Mountain Bridge, and going through the wildlife zoo, where I kid you not, there were Bald eagles, fox, beavers, coyotes, beavers, rattlesnakes—and of course, bears.

There were more than 115 MS Walks nationwide this year. There were people from Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness at 15 of them. Although not every MS Walk offers this much scenery and wildlife, all of them offer the same spirit of hope.

I had the opportunity to walk in 3 of them this year, and each of them left me feeling inspired to do more.

On a final note, I’d like to point out how lucky we are to have such a unique opportunity to work at these events. Honestly, when you’re a part of something this special, it doesn’t feel like work. We have a client and an agency that are committed to doing more than just making a profit—they’re also committed to making a difference.

To see more of our stand-out work for Acorda Therapeutics, visit and

- Paul Schmidt, VP Copy Supervisor at Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness


Our New Client, Durex

>> Monday, May 18, 2009

All of us here at Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness are thrilled to announce our newest client, Durex.

As in condoms, lubes, and intimacy products. Sex....the ultimate in wellness. Just ask us, we'll tell you.

We are launching a brand new condom, called Avanti BARE, which is just hitting retail locations now. It's a new "soft-as-skin" non-latex condom.

You may not realize that Durex is the number one brand around the world. And now we are taking on America!

We are releasing the news to the press as we speak, but it was featured today on MM&M online:

We are diving in with new work, as you can imagine. Stay tuned for details!

Hope this finds you well -- Jim.


Cheerios a Drug!

>> Sunday, May 17, 2009

If you've been keeping up with marketing news the last few days, you'll see that there has been a lot of talk about the recent FDA letter to the makers of Cheerios.  In essence, the FDA is saying that if the brand is going to make drug-like claims (in this case, lowering cholesterol), then Cheerios must file a new drug application (NDA) like any product making similar claims.

You can read about it here:

I'm not going to necessarily comment on the actions of the FDA here, although I certainly will in the conference rooms of our clients.  But I will say this, that those of us who have been working in nutri-ceuticals or functional foods since the beginning predicted that this day would come.

We predicted the day where the lines between foods and drugs would get completely blurred. The day where we all recognize that all facets of wellness can come together to help solve a health issue.

I worked at and for Johnson & Johnson in the days when we launched Benecol, Viactiv, and Splenda.  At the time, there was a lot of conversation about how could a drug company possibly be introducing food products -- food products with drug benefits at that.

We knew back then that the lines would blur someday and in fact this direct acknowledgement from the FDA confirms it.

We all deal with health issues, one way or another.  And there is no one fix for any of them.  To stay well, we all have to work with a mix of diet, exercise, stress, sleep, and ans sometimes prescription drugs.  The lines are blurry as to what works best, except that they all work together.  

Cheerios too.

Hope this finds you well -- Jim.


All a Twitter

>> Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Today's posting comes from our digital guru, William Martino. Hope this finds you well -- Jim.

Take it away, William:
As Twitter increases in popularity (both in mainstream press and in actual usage), so do the number of questions I'm asked about what it is and why it matters. The first thing I usually hear is, "But William, why do people feel like it's necessary to tell everyone what they had for lunch? Who really cares?"

To the outside observer, that's about all Twitter is good for. But if you dig below the surface and actually use Twitter on a daily basis, you realize that it's way more powerful than that.

Like most social networks, Twitter helps you connect with "people like you"—ones you actually know in person (like friends or family) and others that you discover because of shared interests (working in a similar industry, affinity for the same products and services, etc...). In addition to Twitter's own search functionality, sites like, which is a user-powered directory, make it easy to find other users based on how they have categorized the things they write about.
The key reason I use, and love, Twitter is that it lets me follow other thought leaders in the healthcare and marketing industry, helping me to stay current on the challenges they are facing and the ideas they are wrestling with. Could I read their books, articles, and blogs to get similar insights? Of course. But Twitter adds a layer of convenience (and brevity) that make it much easier to follow—and contribute to—this dialogue as a part of my daily work flow.

Several of the thought leaders that I follow happen to work in the same agency as I do, and as much as we try to share ideas face-to-face, it's often difficult due to workload or travel schedules. Now we have a way to share links, thoughts, and random musings—and have a discussion about it—independent of geography (it also spares us from sending company-wide emails to tell everyone about interesting things that we've seen. Other people at the agency know to follow us).

Twitter has also transformed how I participate at industry conferences. Although I didn't attend the Manny Awards a few weeks ago, I was able to follow everything that was going on, and knew within minutes of it happening that we had won two awards. At the AdAge Digital conference a few weeks ago (which I did attend), they were smart enough to suggest that participants tweet in questions for the speakers and panel discussions. Not only was I able to discreetly ask questions, but I was able to see and follow the audience commentary on what was being presented.

Individual results may vary, however, so how I use Twitter may not be what's right for you. Jump in and experiment! Find people that are relevant to you and follow them (you can follow me at @wmartino). Post about what's on your mind. Share interesting content that you've seen or read. In time, you'll "find your groove" and with it, the value that Twitter has for you.
- William Martino, VP Digital Strategy at Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness


Inspiring Innovation

>> Monday, May 11, 2009

In the Fall of 2007, I was asked to speak about "innovation" at the DTC Annual Fall Conference and offer inspiration to the attendees as they develop their marketing plans.

As I prepared my remarks, I realized that just the act of speaking about innovation makes it not very innovative. Talking about innovation can become a string of "buzz words" that ultimately is not very inspiring.

So instead of talking about innovation, I decided to just show it. I bring it back to you all now again as a way of inspiring innovative thoughts.

Hope this finds you well -- Jim.


AdAge Article on Digital Marketing

We were quoted in today's AdAge article regarding digital marketing. You can read it here:

From my perspective "digital marketing" (or any other form of marketing like crm or promotional) is all about integrated marketing. And to tell you the truth, I don't really even like the word "integrated". In my mind, marketing has always been integrated. One brand, one voice, one marketing plan. Sure, lots of executions, including digital, but one marketing plan.

To me the future of digital marketing and our clients' ability to embrace it lies in our ability to develop a sound marketing plan that resonates with our consumers and that intersects with them in their lives.

So sure, we've done great work on the Ambien CR "Rooster" campaign ( and we are very very proud of the work we are doing for Acorda Therapeutics ( -- but the work is fundamentally powerful because of the integrated marketing approach that we took.

The digital applications are our attempt to bring the brands to consumers' where they are living and interacting with each other. On the consumers' terms. That's good marketing, digital or otherwise.

Hope this finds you well -- Jim.


Consumer Optimism

>> Sunday, May 10, 2009

On Friday I went to the DYG East Coast Conference. DYG is our consumer trending partner and they help us understand what's going on in consumers' minds as they go about their daily lives.  

Madeleine and her team presented an amazing picture of how consumers are feeling these days, particularly in light of the new administration in Washington, the economic meltdown, terrorism, war, joblessness, and all the other horrible things that has been making us feel, well, pretty bad these days.

When looking at trending data, obviously we focus on the shifts in attitudes, emotions, and behaviors.  A consumer issue that moves a few trending points becomes an area that we as marketers intensely analyze. A three or four point move is significant.

What's amazing is that many of the issues that DYG follows have moved double digits just in the last six to nine months.  We are talking ten, twelve, and fourteen point shifts in certain consumer areas.

A growing distrust of institutions, including the government, banks, and big business.  An intensifying need to feel more safe and secure.  And even more heartfelt desire to simplify choices and to live an easier life.  Big shifts in the trending data.

I expected to hear a lot of gloom and doom,  like most everyone in the audience I'm sure.  But I was somewhat shocked to instead also hear about a growing sense of optimism.  Yes, optimism. Not blind hope and certainly not a sense that the government is going to swoop in and rescue us all.  But good 'ole fashioned American optimism.  

The kind of optimism that comes from a lot of hard work and a sense of responsibility and self-reliance.  There's a growing sense that we will indeed get through this, but only if we all band together and fix it ourselves.  It's our responsibility to fix it, and darn it we will!

Much of this is due to Barack and Michelle Obama.  Not because people feel like they are master minds who will magically make our problems go away. But because they are in it with us, and they are working very hard to help us figure it out.

Political views aside, the Obamas are essentially responsible for a growing sense of optimism and a growing sense that together we will make it through.  But only with a lot of hard work.

Very motivating and encouraging as a fellow consumer myself as well as a marketer of brands that intersect with consumers in their lives.  

We'll be using much of what we learned from our DYG partners to shape our marketing plans in the coming months.  Certainly more to come!

Hope this finds you well -- Jim.


De-Stigmatizing a Health Issue

>> Thursday, May 7, 2009

I heard that there is pending legislation to restrict television advertising for erectile dysfunction therapies. Basically mandating that television advertising in this category should be left for late-night and wee-hour television time slots. I guess the argument is that this kind of advertising contains sexual explicit material.

You can read a little bit about it here: as well as in many other articles.

I'm not necessarily going to comment on that part of the argument. But I would like to talk about how much progress our industry has made toward de-stigmatizing conditions that were once off-limits to talk about, or even acknowledge.

In comes Bob Dole, who openly admitted on broadcast tv that he struggles with erectile dysfunction "ED". Suddenly, literally suddenly, it's ok to talk about. With your friends, with your
doctor. Countless men and their partners could now seek help with just a little less embarrassment --- just enough less embarrassment to admit that they too have the problem.

ED isn't the only condition where we need the emotional freedom to open up and talk. Virtually every health issue at one point or another was off limits for discussion. HIV is another obvious one. Overactive bladder another.

The agency is currently working on an initiative for childhood obesity. It's a fascinating and potentially VERY rewarding project in that awareness of childhood obesity is certainly high, no doubt. But relevance to our own family situation is very low. People recognize that childhood obesity is a problem, but just not in their own family. They don't relate to it for themselves and their own children.

Working toward helping people recognize themselves and helping them to relate to the condition -- and thereby seek help in alleviating it -- is quite honestly where we do our best work.

It's why many of us got into this crazy business. And stay in it.

So while we may get caught up in debating the merits of marketing programs and their content, let's remember that we are trying to help people relate to their own health issues and seek help. We are trying to alleviate the barriers that people face in getting treatment.

Ultimately, we are trying to help people make good wellness choices. For ED or anything else.

Hope this finds you well. Jim.


Reflections on the DTC National Convention

>> Monday, May 4, 2009

The annual DTC National Convention in Washington was a few weeks ago. I opened up the awards ceremony, where we collectively recognize the best work in direct-to-consumer pharma marketing.

You can see my opening remarks here: (the video is a little "homespun", but you'll get the point!).

The agency walked away with two awards:
- Silver for best television advertising for Transitions lenses
- Gold for best integrated campaign for Crestor (with our partners at Digitas Health)

Whenever I go to these kinds of conferences, I always try to leave with at least one little tidbit of learning. As I think back on this particular conference, I am struck by one lasting memory.

There was a lot of talk at the conference about the impending new regulation on consumer marketing of pharmaceuticals. Lots of speculation, lots of debate, lots of worry. There were actually a few people there from the FDA and from DDMAC, the very people who apply the regulation to our marketing materials.

And you know what! They are actually live human beings! Those folks at the FDA actually breathe! They all spoke very candidly about how they think through the regulation that has been passed, and how they would like to work collaboratively through the issues.

They acknowledged that the Obama administration is likely to impose some changes, particularly in the online space. In fact, we've already seen some of those changes happen in regards to search engine marketing.

If you really listen to them, really listen to them, you'll notice that they are incredibly consistent in their messaging. We may not agree with it and there is certainly lots of room for interpretation, but it is pretty consistent. "If you are going to talk about the benefits of a brand, then you also have to talk about the risks" -- pretty much sums it up.

Nice to meet you, FDA and DDMAC! While we may sometimes complain about it, we do in fact look forward to collaborating with you as we seek to educate consumers about their choices in healthcare.

Hope this finds you well -- Jim.


Television Advertising This Year

>> Saturday, May 2, 2009

I was recently quoted in an article in AdWeek concerning the upcoming television media "upfront" buy this fall.  You can read it here:

The article was brief so I'd like to add a little more perspective.

I am not one of those people who thinks that television advertising is dead. Nor do I think that it is the "end all be all" that many once thought that it was --- and for the record I never thought it was all that either.

From my perspective, the question isn't "should I advertise on tv" and it isn't "how much television media should I buy".  

To me, the appropriate debate on any brand putting together a marketing plan should be around connecting with the consumer.

Is television one of those vehicles that will connect with my consumers? Will television find my consumer when I need to the most and when they are the most receptive?  

If television is a possible answer, then the next logical question is to determine the role that the brand needs television advertising to play in the marketing mix --- before you ever start to decide how much to spend in a media upfront buy.

Should the television advertising drive a specific kind of awareness against a specific target segment? Should the television advertising drive traffic to a website or provide a direct response mechanism?

Only when a brand knows that television advertising can intersect with their consumers' lives and only after a brand determines the role of television advertising in the marketing plan can a media buy be calculated.

So yes, the upfront buy this year is likely to be lower than in the past.  We all know that, in spades, for lots of reasons.  But that doesn't mean that television advertising is dead.  It still has a vital role in many a marketing mix for many a brand who is looking to become a part of their consumers' lives.

Hope this finds you well -- Jim.


Wal-Mart Doing Wellness

>> Friday, May 1, 2009

I've been in a few Wal-Mart locations lately doing some store checks for one of our new clients, Durex (condoms, lubes, toys).  GREAT new client, but that's another story.

I noticed something really cool.  If you pay really close attention, you'll see that Wal-Mart is actually pitching wellness.  "Save money.  Live better." -- their brand promise and tagline.

In many ways, wellness is all about making good choices.  Should I sleep in an extra hour this morning or should I spend that extra hour at the gym?  

Should I have a powdered donut for breakfast or fat-free yogurt?  Should I refill my prescription like my doctor told me or should I save that money for something else?

We make decisions all day long, without even realizing it, that affect our wellness.  The current economic environment puts even more pressure on those decisions by adding a financial intensity like never before.  These days finances are involved in almost every decision we make, whether we realize it consciously or unconsciously.  Finances are adding a complexity to our wellness decisions, making some of those decisions even harder to make.

We anecdotally hear that consumers are skipping their meds to save money, coloring their hair at home to save money, and putting off big purchases because they don't have the cash flow they once had.

Wal-Mart seems to understand this.  They are not only telling their shoppers that Wal-Mart allows them to do more with their money but they are also telling them that Wal-Mart lets them live better.  That's wellness if I've ever seen it.  

In some ways, the brand is promising better decision making -- and in some cases a more fashionable, lower stress, more complete life.  The brand is promising wellness.  An over promise?  Not if you really think about it.

Admittedly, I don't always say this, but "Good Job, Wal-Mart!".

Hope this finds you well -- Jim.