Consumer packaged goods (CPG) marketers operate in a world with much fewer restrictions, which allows them to be a little looser, funnier and even sexier when it is appropriate. However, pharma can still learn a few things from their CPG counterparts. Healthcare marketers name six CPG campaigns that they feel have a little something worth emulating.


“The recently unleashed Dove ‘Real Beauty Sketches’ ( and Kmart ‘Ship My Pants’ ( spots are two diametrically opposed approaches to creativity, both of which are pharma-ready. Dove tapped into a powerful human insight, creatively dramatized it, and made not one product mention (fair balance for what?). In turn they made a palpable brand connection with all of us. Kmart took an absolutely functional fact about their product, ingeniously recognized the echo of a verbal idiom, and said it completely square: ‘I can ship my pants’ is a technically accurate claim, is not at all comparative, and suggests no outcome, other than a smile at its audaciousness.” — Dave Sonderman, Executive Creative Director, EVP at GSW


“Consider the work P&G did with their infamous Old Spice campaign ( It spoke to a core insight and a purchase behavior (women are the primary consumers for male scent products). And it was entertaining to boot. Can you imagine pharma brands taking a bold step like that? That’s what our industry is often missing. Many pharma marketers continue to sell product benefits, not brands. They sell things rather than ideas, and focus on the what, not the why. And by doing so, they fail to communicate the joy these products can provide.” — Mike Dennelly, Managing Director at Evoke Health


“The pharma marketer of the future needs to fundamentally shift the focus away from selling product features and evolve to what makes CPG brands so successful—the ability to effectively exploit an insight and establish how the brand fits within that framework. The essence of the Dove soap Natural Beauty campaign is a clear cut example that demonstrates the power of focusing on an insight and human truth vs. the functional features of the product. The campaign establishes Dove as a brand that understands its customers and creates an undeniable bond that creates talk value and drives business.” — Michael Rutstein, Founder and CEO of STRIKEFORCE Communications


“At 127, Coca-Cola never gets old—especially the brand’s ability to understand itself and its audience. Supporting its global platform of ‘Open Happiness,’ customized vending machines set up at the National University of Singapore during exam week (stress!) dispensed cans of Coke when the machine was ‘hugged’ ( Dubbed ‘The Coke Hug Machine’ it was designed to recognize a human hug and return the favor with a can of happiness—reinforcing itself as a friend in need. Indeed.” — Tina McGill, SVP, Creative Director at Ogilvy CommonHealth, part of Ogilvy CommonHealth Worldwide


“The Doritos commercial with the screaming goat ( and here’s why: Never underestimate the power of the absurd, especially when you can make something go viral and expand your audience.” — Rachel Lomasz, Associate Creative Director at AbelsonTaylor


You May Also Like

Movers and Shakers January 2016

Barry Labinger Joins Biothera Pharmaceutical With nearly three decades of experience in the pharmaceutical ...