Foote Cone & Belding | Adweek
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Foote Cone & Belding

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Quick Thinkers
Matt Gunther, Rich Gagnon, Jan Weinstein, Matt Levy and Jane Jovanovic

Imagine you are advertising to a potential customer who is forgetful, difficult to deal with and simply unable to focus. That is precisely the condition of adult sufferers of Attention Deficit Disorder, the target audience for Eli Lilly & Co.'s new Strattera, the first ADD drug indicated for adults. Pinpointing this hard-to-reach target was only half of Foote Cone & Belding's mission—it also had to introduce Strattera to parents of ADD children, a well-developed but highly competitive segment.

"It was really one launch to two target markets at the same time," says Jan Weinstein, senior vp/group media director. "One brand, two objectives."

Of an estimated 8 million adults with ADD, perhaps a million are diagnosed. "Most people don't know they have it," says Weinstein. "They just think they're disorganized and have relationship issues and trouble holding down jobs. How do you break through to an undiagnosed population that is so attention-challenged?"

"Our program grew out of insights from proprietary consumer research," adds Rich Gagnon, exec vp/media director. "You can't do a Simmons or MRI run on this."

"One patient said that ADD was like having a TV with a remote control on the blink, your mind skipping from program to program to program," says Mel Sokotch, exec vp/director of consumer health care at the agency. "That idea informed our thinking, and the media and creative departments worked together to come up with a strategy."

FCB utilized an online test to spur potential patients to talk to their doctors about ADD. The test was housed at Lilly's Web site and, initially, at the much-visited WebMD site, which featured ADD content as part of the deal. The television campaign—in partnership with Fox, which has a multimedia joint venture with WebMD—launched last summer with unbranded 60-second TV spots that included a 15-second WebMD segment. It broadened out in the fall with a special 45-second unit that included a 7-second black screen showing a Web address—an unusually long stretch, but "we wanted adequate time for people to focus on it," says Weinstein. Making a strong call to action in an unbranded spot was also atypical, she adds, "but we weren't going to go branded unless we succeeded in our goals." The Strattera name was introduced to adults this year.

The launch with Fox was based on a television strategy derived from behavioral insights. "Adults with ADD crave stimulation," says Weinstein. "So we wanted to run on fast-paced shows. We consolidated the buy at launch with Fox properties because they're sort of the high-stimulation network," says Weinstein, citing programming such as 24, Nascar, syndicated action films and the FX cable net. In the fall, the campaign branched out to other networks and programs, based on what had clicked the first time. "We bought high-impact dramas like Alias," says Weinstein. "We noted that [our prospects] have trouble sleeping, so we used late night, such as Letterman and Saturday Night Live. Also off-net sitcoms like Seinfeld and Friends. And since ADD is so often tied in with relationship issues, we did daytime shows like Oprah, Dr. Phil and The View." Deals were handled by OMD, Lilly's buying agency of record.

Web-site response gave the agency what amounted to real-time feedback. "We were able to track our advertising to the minute," says Weinstein. "Our ad on 24 came on at 9:36, and at that minute Web hits took off and ran a thousand a minute for the rest of the show." The introductory adult campaign produced Web hits numbering well beyond expectations. "They set a net standard at Lilly," says Joe Holman, the client's manager of media and creative services. "They were the highest response rates we've ever seen."

The print effort included cover wraps around Newsweek, Good Housekeeping and Family Circle, delivered to 18,000 doctors' offices. The wraps were substantial six-page foldouts. "It was a whole deeper-content effort, applied to both the adult and pediatric campaigns," says Gagnon.

The pediatric effort presented its own challenges. While adults with ADD are hard to reach, parents of ADD kids are tuned in and always hunting for more information, says Sokotch. The field is crowded, though Strattera has a point of differentiation: It is not stimulant-based, in contrast to competitors such as Ritalin. FCB had to get this message out while adhering to exacting rules on print advertising for so-called direct-to-consumer drugs, which require a full black-and-white page of product info.

The agency came up with a new print unit to make the most of these restrictions: two consecutive right-hand pages, with a disclosure page in-between. "The text and copy were the same for the two ads, but the photo was different," explains Gagnon. "We wanted moms to do a double take, and this gave our ads real stopping power. We got double the frequency with every insertion." Print vehicles, over 20 in all, included Woman's Day, Parenting, TV Guide, People, Essence, Parade and Prevention. Another print insertion distributed over 21 million cue cards that gave parents information on talking to family doctors about ADD at back-to-school time.

Television was added over the summer, a crucial time when many parents give their ADD kids a "drug holiday" or consider switching medications. "We reached moms with a more emotional message," says Weinstein, noting that Strattera is the only drug in the category to use TV. The agency used daytime and syndication—such as Oprah, The View, soaps—and cable, including Lifetime, TLC, TV Land and Food Network. Additional flights coincided with trigger times for ADD kids: back-to-school, report card time and the holiday break.

Just as in the adult portion of the campaign, the pediatric effort far exceeded expectations—double that of goals in sales volume. "The Foote Cone team is pushing the edges of the box for us all the time," says Lilly's Holman. "They really impressed us with how they stepped outside their media process to help us break through."

Eric Schmuckler is a contributing writer to Mediaweek.