Don't Fade, Fight

>> Monday, April 26, 2010

Last Thursday Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness was honored with the "Consumer Campaign of the Year" for our work on AstraZeneca's SeroquelXR at the "Manny Awards", one of the pharma industry's premier shows. We're all incredibly proud of this recognition -- and Associate Creative Director Stu Fink tells us how it all came to be. Congratulations to the Seroquel team.

Take it away, Stu.

If you’re an advertising agency attempting to launch a campaign that deals with mental illness, you need far more than a client on the other end of the phone. You need an evangelist. Someone to instill in you a sense of higher purpose. Someone to remind you daily that you can do better. Someone who refuses to settle for anything less than the unvarnished truth.

That's the description of our SeroquelXR clients as AstraZeneca. Over and over again, we listened, as the Seroquel XR brand team preached the gospel of respect and responsibility. It was a lesson we took to heart and the chief reason we fought so hard for 14 months to bring this campaign to life. On Thursday night, Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness was awarded the Best Consumer Campaign at The Manny Awards for the Seroquel XR “FADE” campaign.

This campaign, championed from its infancy by Helayne Spivak, was written by Paul Schmidt, and art directed beautifully by Ian Fearn -- that's Ian and Paul in the picture, along with the work and the award. (Full disclosure: I am proud to have been the ACD.) Based on insights brought to life by Jacob Braude, it was, sold, resold and sold again by Jennifer Shirley, Adam Fletcher and Gwen Korbel, and produced with an artist’s touch by Steve Pytko.

But this campaign was truly created by the dozens of men and women living with bipolar depression that we spoke to, listened to and learned from. Their insights, words, and painful admissions led us to our core concept: When you’re living with bipolar depression it can feel like you’re fading into the background. When you’re listening to someone describe what it’s like to be a spectator in their own life, you’re left with no recourse but to fight as hard as you can to respectfully bring their story to life.

At Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness, we fight hard everyday to earn our wellness credentials. For us, that means treating the whole person, not merely his or her collection of symptoms. It means educating the mind, before medicating the body. It means offering options, rather than false hope. It means empowering people to ask questions before asking for a prescription.

This campaign represents what we at Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness do best. We’re overjoyed that our peers in the advertising community have seen to it to recognize and honor our work. In doing so, you don’t simply honor us; you honor the millions of men and women living with bipolar depression.


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