The Business of Wellness

>> Friday, October 30, 2009

Last night we attended the MM&M awards, held at the tony (and for the moment between-owners-because-times-are-hard) Tavern on the Green here in New York. The MM&M awards purports to be a celebration of 'effectiveness and creativity in healthcare communications' -- kind of the Oscars of the pharma business -- and the black-tie crowd was ripe with anticipation whether their tears, sweat & ideas would be recognized by a jury of their peers.

We had a few campaigns in contention -- we were fortunate enough to be seated with our Sanofi Aventis clients -- and as we sat back and watched the room a funny thought crossed my mind.

Healthcare advertising is, as a genre, thought to be fodder for Saturday Night Live skits (and it has been a well earned reputation) sort of the very tail end of the advertising thought train. But last night, we saw two things -- some really insightful, relevant and well-shot work and smart, engaging media thinking. A mix of engagement and integration across communications channels that the marketing business as a whole says is 'the future'.

And here it was, some of the players in the staid old pharma business (OK, it wasn't everybody) with a point-of-view -- this is how you do it, this is how you engage patients and drive sales. Doing it today. Sometimes the smartest ideas aren't the most glamorous, but that doesn't make the thinking any less attractive.

It was a night about relevance, great execution and marketing for the future (which is why, when Saatchi Wellness won the award for best online campaign for our Transitions work -- forgive the blatant plug -- I felt extremely pleased for my colleagues and our way of doing things). Because a lot of what we saw last night is the business of the future and the people in that room last night seemed to get it.


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