Marketing Excellence

Award-winning medical device campaigns deliver value to wide-ranging audiences.

Lori Luechtefeld

September 1, 2007

24 Min Read
Marketing Excellence


Uniting Healthcare Marketers

2007 In-Awe Winners

By Lori Luechtefeld

The Medical Marketing Association (MMA; San Francisco) issues its International Awards of Excellence (In-Awe) annually to recognize creative and effective work in medical and healthcare marketing for professional and consumer audiences. In early June, MMA presented more than 100 awards spanning more than 40 categories, including print, broadcast, electronic, and interactive marketing. Awards were presented during MMA's annual meeting in San Francisco (see sidebar, page 67).

Above, Bridget Johnson (left), director of marketing in the renal division of Baxter Healthcare Corp. (Deerfield, IL), accepts the 2007 Delta award from last year's winner, Holley Malia, principal of Grey Matter Marketing. Johnson was recognized for her work in promoting Baxter's peritoneal dialysis technology within the end-stage renal disease market (top).

In addition to achievements in marketing for pharmaceuticals, biotech products, and healthcare services, the 2007 In-Awe competition honored a number of campaigns for medical devices. In addition, MMA named Bridget Johnson, director of marketing in the renal division of Baxter Healthcare Corp. (Deerfield, IL), as the winner of its annual Delta award. Formerly known as the medical marketer of the year award and first bestowed in 1998, the award recognizes professionals whose work has resulted in positive changes in medical marketing, client services, patient care, and their company's success.

Johnson was recognized for her work in promoting Baxter's peritoneal dialysis technology within the end-stage renal disease market. Baxter currently has a more than 80% market share in the peritoneal dialysis space. Nevertheless, Baxter recognized that awareness of the therapy was relatively low, resulting in an underpenetrated marketplace.

To address this issue, Johnson created a multiyear endeavor that rolled out internally and externally in the second quarter of 2006. The campaign is expected to achieve its maximum impact in three to five years. Yet the results to date are already impressive: In 2006, the company saw 103% achievement of Baxter's renal sales goals and a nearly 7% increase in total patients on peritoneal dialysis therapy.

“The greatest challenge of the program was getting the many different stakeholders—from different regions of the world and from different functions, such as medical affairs and marketing—to agree that we could indeed develop and promote common messages and a common brand to our customers, despite perceived regional differences,” Johnson says. “In a $2 billion business with operations in more than 100 countries, it's easy to focus on only what we believe are differences—and therefore challenges—rather than to come together on the core common value we bring to our customers. Once we agreed to move forward in a common direction, the execution became almost easy.”

In this article, MX highlights the challenges, strategies, and execution behind some of this year's winning medical device campaigns.

Ready. Set. Sealed.
Anderson DDB
for Ethicon Inc., a Johnson & Johnson company

The "Ready. Set. Sealed." campaign by Anderson DDB (Toronto) won a gold In-Awe award in the category of journal advertising, full or fractional page.

Omnex is a surgical sealant manufactured by Ethicon Inc. (Somerville, NJ), a Johnson & Johnson company. Vascular surgeons use the sealant over the top of stitches when joining vessels to vessels or vessels to grafts. In creating a marketing campaign for Omnex, Anderson DDB (Toronto) faced several challenges.

For one, the marketers had to overcome the perception that only sloppy surgeons use surgical sealants—that the product is designed for those surgeons who can't manage the job with traditional stitching. In addition, many sealants currently on the market are regarded as cumbersome, requiring bulky applicators with poor access and precision. They can require lengthy preparation time, can cause tissue necrosis, and can be quite hard once they are set.

Anderson DDB's strategy was to change the negative perception of surgical sealants by leveraging Omnex's superior features. The campaign presented the product as a simple, precise tool that can save time and provide control and reliability.

Based on market research with vascular surgeons worldwide, a campaign was developed that echoed the brand's positioning and strengths and was aligned with the key insights from the target audience. Through their research, the marketers found that surgeons were especially impressed with the look of the applicator.

“Ready. Set. Sealed.” is one of three ads in the Omnex campaign. The ad accentuates the elegant, ergonomic device. The headline, displayed in a liquid script that mimics a sealant, illustrates the precision of the product—comparable to that of a writing instrument. For this text, a signature font was created for global usage.

Within the campaign, each ad features the applicator in a different position, with the bendable cannula at varying angles to demonstrate versatility for accessing hard-to-reach areas.

The Omnex creative materials were tested worldwide prior to final execution and received unanimous consensus as the campaign of choice across company affiliates.

The campaign won a gold In-Awe award in the category of journal advertising, full or fractional page.

Bridging the Management Gap
Apothecom (formerly Fusion Medical Education)
for Respironics Inc.

Apothecom won a bronze In-Awe award in the category of continuing medical education for its work on the "Bridging the Management Gap" campaign for Respironics Inc. (Murrysville, PA).

Sleep apnea, a breathing disorder that has recently been associated with heart failure, is often treated by sleep specialists. Thus, many heart failure specialists know little about it.

To remedy this situation, Respironics Inc. (Murrysville, PA) commissioned Apothecom (formerly Fusion Medical Education; Wakefield, MA) to create an educational program for heart failure specialists. The resulting campaign, “Bridging the Management Gap,” is designed to convey the theme of the program in a context familiar to heart failure specialists. For this reason, Apothecom chose two primary images: one based on a heart—to gain the intended audience's attention—and the other to convey the theme of the program, sleep apnea.

The campaign was created by the following team from Apothecom: Heather Sailer, senior art director; Jill Kuzman, senior designer; Karen Larstanna, vice president of creative services; and Kevin Flynn, managing director.

The campaign won a bronze In-Awe award in the category of medical education, continuing medical education (CME).

Journey Knee: What Moves You?
Archer/Malmo Inc.
for Smith & Nephew

Imagery in the "What Moves You?" campaign, produced by Archer/Malmo Inc. (Memphis) for Smith & Nephew plc (London), features a knee-level perspective of people enjoying aspirational activities.

Traditionally, patients with knee osteoarthritis have relied on their doctors' advice regarding knee replacement. However, the aging population of baby boomers is changing this dynamic. These patients have high expectations for maintaining an active lifestyle, and they are actively involved in healthcare decision-making. To inform this audience about the Journey Knee, a new knee replacement for active patients, Smith & Nephew plc (London) teamed up with Archer/Malmo Inc. (Memphis).

The challenge was to drive patients with knee osteoarthritis to Journey Knee–trained surgeons to learn about the product's unique technology and how it can help restore an active lifestyle. Through focus groups, the marketing team determined that the pain associated with osteoarthritis is very personal and emotional. Loss of movement translates into a loss of self.

The resulting campaign's message—whatever moves you, knee pain shouldn't stop you—empathizes with people with knee osteoarthritis while providing an optimistic solution. The campaign's imagery features a knee-level perspective of people enjoying aspirational activities.

The upbeat message of the “What Moves You?” campaign drives osteoarthritis sufferers to a Journey surgeon or to request more information. The campaign, which launched in three test markets, included a direct-response TV spot, a Web site, and a call center for funneling responses. Inquiries were fulfilled with an information kit.

Postcampaign analysis revealed that 53% of the target audience members who saw the Journey Knee television ad responded online or by calling the 800 number. Of survey respondents, 57% reported making a physician's appointment after learning about the Journey Knee.

The entire campaign won three silver In-Awe awards in the categories of consumer print, direct mail; TV/radio, consumer TV spot; and integrated campaign, consumer campaign.

The Bug Stops Here
Bryant Brown Communications
for Chiron, a Business of Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics

Bryant Brown Communications (Los Angeles) and Chiron, a business of Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics (Emeryville, CA), collaborated to create a poster that would raise awareness of West Nile virus testing among people receiving and donating blood.

With West Nile virus grabbing headlines and claiming victims worldwide, Chiron, a business of Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics (Emeryville, CA), decided to develop a tool to help ease concerns about blood safety among people receiving and donating blood. With the help of Bryant Brown Communications LLC (Los Angeles), Chiron created a poster informing patients and blood donors at hospitals and blood centers that the institution displaying the poster uses Chiron's Procleix WNV assay to screen blood for West Nile virus.

The poster features an image of a carrier of the virus—the mosquito—and boldly announces, “The Bug Stops Here!” Branding plays a secondary role in the message: as the first nucleic acid test for West Nile virus, Procleix is the leading brand on the market and stands to benefit without the need to be more aggressively and pointedly promotional.

Anxious to assuage patients' and donors' fears—and always hungry for eye-catching and not overtly product-specific artwork to help enliven their walls—hospitals and blood centers immediately embraced the campaign and displayed the posters. Chiron has received requests for it from hospitals and centers nationwide, and is now exploring awareness-raising (or reminding) campaigns for other assays that detect human immunodeficiency virus, hepatitis C virus, and hepatitis B virus.

The campaign won a bronze In-Awe award in the category of consumer print, sales promotion.

Everyday Promises
Cook Medical

Above, Michael Dalton (left), vice president of Siemens Medical Solutions Diagnostics (Tarrytown, NY), presents a gold In-Awe award to Brian Arnold, global brand manager for Cook Group (Bloomington, IN). Cook won two gold awards for its "Everyday Promises" campaign (top).

Although Cook Medical (Bloomington, IN) has been highly successful at innovating across multiple medical specialties, the company faces the challenge of unifying its record of innovation behind a single brand identity. The company's array of new products has been diluted across multiple business units without capturing the inherent synergy in reinforcing the message “One Cook.”

Cook's global marketing divisions support 312 separate brands in an already crowded brand space. Such a house-of-brands approach, aside from its significant financial cost, is undermining the equity of the Cook Medical brand while making it more difficult for a customer to understand the company's broad product line.

Intent on delivering the message of one strong brand, Cook decided the first step was to align its message internally. This past year, the company asked employees an important question: What is your promise? A theme emerged around all the ways the company helps improve people's lives. The new Cook Medical brand will begin to unite everyone around this promise.

In an effort to focus its brand, Cook launched the “Everyday Promises” campaign in 2006. The internal program represented the voice of the company and has significantly strengthened Cook's brand. The campaign included posters, a quarterly newsletter, surveys, table tents in the lunchroom, product awareness events, and a 2007 calendar of events. All of the elements worked together to clearly define what makes Cook and the work its employees do unique. In other words, it provided a clear voice for the company's brand.

The campaign has united Cook employees by leveraging the vast history of stories told for years at Cook, all revolving around the promise of each and every employee to help improve people's lives. The job now is to evolve the company's internal campaign into an external message that will define what the Cook Medical brand stands for in the world of healthcare.

The campaign won a gold In-Awe award in the category of integrated campaign, professional/trade campaign.

ACT I Trial Patient Brochure
Dorland Global Corp.
for Abbott Vascular

Dorland Global Corp. (San Francisco) developed a patient awareness program for Abbott Vascular (Redwood City, CA). The campaign brochure won a silver In-Awe award.

According to the American Heart Association, stroke is the third most common cause of death in the United States, and is the number-one cause of disability. Carotid artery disease is the cause of about 25% of strokes, and it is usually managed with medication or neck surgery, called surgical carotid endarterectomy.

Carotid artery stenting is widely available and represents a minimally invasive alternative, shown to be as safe and effective as endarterectomy in symptomatic patients at high risk for neck surgery. Although 75% of all people who have significant carotid artery disease are not symptomatic, carotid stenting is not yet an approved treatment for these patients.

In 2005, Abbott Vascular (Redwood City, CA) initiated the ACT I clinical trial, titled Carotid Angioplasty and Stenting versus Endarterectomy in Asymptomatic Subjects with Significant Extracranial Carotid Occlusive Disease. However, by mid-2006, enrollment had stalled and few physicians were referring patients.

In partnering with Dorland Global Corp. (San Francisco), Abbot Vascular looked to revitalize enrollment activity in the clinical trial and—staying within a strong corporate identity grid—create a dynamic look and feel to create interest in the trial and motivate patient candidates.

Dorland initiated a patient awareness program, starting with a trial brochure, to establish the serious clinical nature of asymptomatic carotid artery disease and deliver motivating messages to patients within the target audience. The brochure was supported by other materials, including posters and patient education pieces for physician offices.

Dorland also created a dedicated Web site——with information and resources for patients and healthcare professionals; the site also includes a password-protected segment for investigators.

Response from trial participants was immediate and highly positive—investigators saw the commitment that Abbott Vascular was making, and professional interest was energized. Only three months after the initiative was launched, trial enrollment had increased 40%.

The campaign brochure won a silver In-Awe award in the category of consumer print, product or service brochure.

Cutera Sales Materials
GMA Life
for Cutera Inc.

GMA Life (San Francisco) developed a new literature system for Cutera Inc. (Brisbane, CA). The campaign won a bronze In-Awe award.

Cutera Inc. (Brisbane, CA), a leader in laser and light-based aesthetic products, needed a new literature system for its entire line of instruments. Besides direct, online, and media advertising, the company—in partnering with GMA Life (San Francisco)—decided that it wanted to equip its sales force with the right tools that would enable smarter selling, and result in more sales.

Many meetings ensued between Cutera and the GMA Life teams. In creating the sales tools, the teams stressed the importance of the literature's functionality, how it was structured, and its ease of use. The products were separated into three distinct technology platforms, and an individual applications sheet was created for each. The products were showcased in vivid photos and colors, all with convenient charts that enabled reps to easily show the physician how the systems are configured and how they can be upgraded.

The response from the sales force was tremendous. Finally they had literature that made sense, helping them to more effectively sell to dermatologists and plastic surgeons.

The campaign won a bronze In-Awe award in the category of sales rep materials, literature system.

Viagraf Film Noir
Inferno LLC
for Smith & Nephew

Inferno LLC (Memphis) created a Flash-animated e-blast for Smith & Nephew Orthopaedics (Memphis). The Inferno creative team included (from left) Ben Powers, art director; Michael Overton, creative director and partner; and Tino Acchiardo, account manager.

Smith & Nephew Orthopaedics (Memphis) has a long history of excellence within the orthopedics industry. In 2006, the creative team at Inferno LLC (Memphis) was challenged to develop a compelling strategy to increase add-on sales of the company's Viagraf bone filler among its orthopedic trauma sales reps. Although Viagraf was an add-on product that was theoretically an easy sell, it was being left out of the sales presentation, and competing products were slipping in.

Inferno established a communications objective that hit the reps where it would have the most impact—their pocketbooks. The team then supported that objective through a low-cost vehicle that could reach reps all over the globe—a Flash-animated e-blast.

Film noir characters were created for the e-blasts to develop a role-playing dialogue that reinforced the importance of bringing Viagraf along on orthopedic product sales calls and using it to close the sale. Reps had already been certified in selling the product, so there was no reason why they shouldn't be using it as a closing tool.

The clinical and business case for the Viagraf product line was made in a clear but entertaining way. Additionally, the Flash blasts—titled “The Case of the Missing Case” and “The Rep Who Wasn't There”—were available to the entire company via its Orthopaedics Online Web site.

The Inferno creative team responsible for the award-winning Flash e-blast included Michael Overton, partner and creative director; John Hilgart, copywriter; Ben Powers, art director; and Tino Acchiardo, account manager.

The campaign won a gold In-Awe award in the category of interactive/digital, e-blast.

Neural Integrity Monitoring Online Training
Interact Medical
for Medtronic Inc.

Interact Medical (South Bend, IN) worked with Medtronic Inc. (Minneapolis) to create an interactive online training program for Medtronic's neural integrity monitoring system.

Spinal surgery is a delicate and oftentimes risky procedure involving demanding medical awareness of potential dangers. To assist spinal surgeons, Medtronic Inc. (Minneapolis) developed an advanced intraoperative monitoring system that automatically warns spinal surgeons of potential nervous system injuries.

Medtronic recognized that surgeons worldwide needed to be well versed and educated in operating its neural integrity monitoring (NIM) system. Due to time and distance constraints, the company needed a way for the surgeons to quickly and easily access instructional information on the NIM system at any time or location.

Interact Medical (South Bend, IN) developed a marketing plan and worked closely with Medtronic to create an interactive online training strategy that would help surgeons understand the features and benefits of this complex technology. The results were impressive.

Because doctors can do the training on their own time and in a self-paced manner, the system enables them to confidently prepare for a case. Due to its interactive and highly visual courseware, the online training makes it enjoyable. In addition, the cost of physician training for the NIM product has been dramatically reduced, thereby increasing Medtronic's return on investment in the system.

The campaign won a gold In-Awe award in the category of medical education, interactive, CME.

Breast Cancer Awareness
for Allergan Inc.

Above, Clayton Daniells (center), executive vice president and creative director for LehmanMillet (Boston), accepts an In-Awe award from presenters Michael Dalton (left), vice president of Siemens Medical Solutions Diagnostics (Tarrytown, NY), and Kathleen Bernstein, principal and head of client services at Seidler Bernstein (Cambridge, MA). LehmanMillet won a gold award for its breast cancer awareness campaign (top) for Allergan Inc. (Irvine, CA).

Through the purchase of Inamed, Allergan Inc. (Irvine, CA) became a major player in breast aesthetics. The company worked with LehmanMillet (Boston) to relaunch silicone breast implants in the United States and develop an integrated campaign increasing awareness for both physicians and patients.

During National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Allergan wanted to find a creative way to demonstrate its commitment to breast cancer prevention and treatment. At the same time, the company also sought to highlight its new position as a leader in breast aesthetics, reconstruction, and issues associated with breast health.

In developing the campaign's look, LehmanMillet highlighted the beauty of the female form through the equity inherent in the breast cancer ribbon. The initial success of the ad encouraged Allergan to place it in additional publications. Furthermore, physicians' offices requested poster and tabletop versions of the ad for prominent display within their practices, giving Allergan added credibility as a leader in breast cancer reconstruction and augmentation.

The campaign won a gold In-Awe award in the category of consumer print, full- or fractional-page ad.

ClearPath Logo
The Miller Group
for North American Scientific

North American Scientific (Chatsworth, CA) hired the Miller Group (Los Angeles) to name a new brachytherapy treatment for breast cancer, develop its brand identity, and design its logo. The resulting ClearPath logo won a bronze In-Awe award.

Concurrent with its development of a new brachytherapy treatment for breast cancer, North American Scientific (Chatsworth, CA) hired the Miller Group (Los Angeles) to name the product, develop its brand identity, and design its logo. Based on client input, physician research, and several specific attributes, the firm developed the name ClearPath. Targeted and precise, ClearPath's delivery system is designed to treat a broader range of postlumpectomy breast cancer patients by attacking cancer cells at the source.

The main challenge was to design a logo that spoke to two entirely separate audiences with distinctive needs—doctors and patients. One common denominator is that both must trust the treatment they choose to follow. Therefore, the Miller Group designed the ClearPath logo to be approachable, comforting, soft, and feminine for the patient, as well as breakthrough and scientific for the physician. The subtle design element that appears to form the letter C also hints at the shape of a breast. The firm introduced a line style that complements the soft shape of the breast into the letters, adjusting space and weight to give the font a feminine, yet professional, look.

ClearPath was introduced to the medical community in July 2006 and is receiving high levels of interest and support from radiation oncologists, surgeons, physicists, and other medical professionals. Full rollout is planned by the end of 2007.

The ClearPath logo won a bronze In-Awe award in the category of graphics/design, logo design.

Mynx Packaging
for AccessClosure Inc.

The Mynx packaging, created by ODA (San Francisco) for AccessClosure Inc. (Mountain View, CA), won a gold In-Awe award.

When AccessClosure Inc. (Mountain View, CA) came to ODA (San Francisco) to develop the creative for its next-generation vascular closure device, the Mynx, the game plan was to establish a highly differentiated brand look and feel that would serve as a distinct advantage within the competitive space.

With this goal in mind, ODA set out to design a progressive, unconventional, and confident identity system for the Mynx. The signature logo mark M was designed to embody a mischievous, cat-like quality, serving as a telltale identifier for the company. When it came time to extend the Mynx brand to the product packaging, ODA decided to create a box design that appears more likely to hold a flashy basketball sneaker than a closure device. In setting an oversized version of the lime green logo mark against a rich black base color, ODA art director Matt Dong created a bold yet clean design that is both powerful and approachable.

“The Mynx packaging captures the energy and passion of the brand and is strikingly prominent on the supply shelf,” says Leslie Trigg, vice president of sales and marketing for AccessClosure. “It's like nothing else in the industry.”

The Mynx packaging won a gold In-Awe award in the category of graphics/design, packaging/labeling.

Never Stop Looking
PJA Advertising and Marketing
for iCAD Inc.

PJA Advertising and Marketing (Cambridge, MA) won a gold In-Awe award for its campaign for iCAD Inc. (Nashua, NH).

PJA Advertising and Marketing (Cambridge, MA) started working with iCAD Inc. (Nashua, NH) in August 2006 to help the company reposition itself as a leader within the computer-aided detection marketplace. The engagement was initiated just as iCAD's number-one competitor, R2, was acquired by Hologic Inc. (Bedford, MA), a leading women's healthcare company.

PJA's goal was to create a distinctive market positioning for iCAD, coupled with a powerful, integrated communications program that would dramatically reenergize the company, its employees, and its partners while building investor equity. The launch of the new campaign was to coincide with the 2006 annual conference of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).

In preparing the campaign, PJA hosted a strategy session with iCAD's senior leadership team. Output from that session led to a positioning statement promoting iCAD's exclusive focus on computer-aided detection—rather than being part of a larger women's healthcare company, like iCAD's competition—along with the company's leading technology and workflow solutions. PJA validated this positioning in one-on-one interviews with radiologists from around the country.

PJA worked quickly with the validated positioning to develop a new tagline that conveyed iCAD's exclusive focus on computer-aided detection, as well as connected to the passion of radiologists. The tagline, “Never Stop Looking,” became the core driver of the integrated campaign. Tactical elements of the campaign include a redesigned trade show booth, a two-minute brand video to bring iCAD's story to life, print advertising for radiology trade magazines, an updated identity system, a 12-page corporate brochure describing iCAD's mission and vision, individual sell sheets for each of the products the company sells; and a redesigned Web site incorporating iCAD's new branding imagery.

The initial response to the new iCAD identity has been dramatic. Employees and many of iCAD's strategic partners—including GE, Siemens, and Fuji—have embraced the reinvigorated brand with enthusiasm and excitement. Results where they matter most have also been impressive: sales revenues for iCAD increased 57% for the quarter ending June 30 compared with the year-ago period. Such performance continues a string of strong quarters since iCAD launched the new campaign at RSNA in November 2006.

The campaign won a gold In-Awe award in the category of film/video (nonbroadcast), trade show event attraction.

Versajet Sales Tool DVD
Strategem Healthcare Communications
for Smith & Nephew

Strategem Healthcare Communications (San Francisco) won a silver In-Awe award for the sales tools it developed for Smith & Nephew (London).

Excellent wound debridement is critical for rapid healing and preparation of the wound bed for skin grafting, application of skin substitutes, and related procedures. Traditionally, this has been executed with scalpels and curettes, but precision is a challenge when excising necrotic tissue.

Smith & Nephew (London) developed Versajet as a safe and effective tool that enables precise debridement, proven to reduce bacterial burden in the wound while allowing the surgeon to discriminate between healthy and necrotic tissue in an exact manner.

Smith & Nephew partnered with Strategem Healthcare Communications (San Francisco) to provide its sales representatives with a tool for promoting and influencing surgeons to try Versajet. Strategem's strategy was to design an easy-to-use interface from which a sales rep could quickly choose the appropriate self-running presentation for the surgeon. The tool was designed to enable reps to deliver their message regardless of whether the surgeons have time to see them for one minute over a scrub sink, for several minutes in the surgeons' lounge, or for a more lengthy, formal appointment in their office.

The sales tool enables the rep to customize presentations for a personal connection with the surgeon. For repeat visits, the DVD is loaded with testimonials and case studies to fully engage the surgeon and address myriad clinical applications of the Versajet. Included are supplementary modules that support the usability and financial benefits of Versajet, as well as complementary products. In short, Strategem wanted to develop a comprehensive, easy-to-update, highly effective sales tool to facilitate rapid uptake of the Versajet device by providing educational and influential clinical and economic data to all persons influencing the sales decision.

The DVD has been greeted with enthusiastic applause from the field sales force and marketing teams, and it is currently being translated for use in several countries outside the United States. Furthermore, Smith & Nephew's sales management considers the DVD an important element in achieving their 2007 sales figures.

The campaign won a silver In-Awe award in the category of sales representative materials, interactive, sales/product/detail aid.

Copyright ©2007 MX

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