Why Pharmaceutical Advertising Is Virtually Absent From the Web

Quick—think of the most recent digital ad you saw. Was it automotive? Retail? Most likely. Name almost any other category and the same probably holds true. Brad Weltman

Infographic: Which Allergy Meds Are Winning the Battle for Hearts, Minds and Noses?

Spring is here, and for store-bought allergy medications, now is the time to get noticed.Market research firm YouGov asked 4,500 U.S. adults each weekday, from January through mid-March, their feelings about five brands: Zyrtec, Claritin, Benadryl, Sudafed and Allegra.

3 Ways to Be More Creative With Healthcare Advertising

Sewer inspector. Embalmer. Gastroenterologist. Tough jobs for sure. But try healthcare advertising for a week.

Rapper and Weed Lover Waka Flocka Flame Finds His Calling as a Throat Drop Spokesman

You know how Saturday Night Live commercial parodies have that certain feel to them? Overly sincere music plays as a testimonial begins, then the audience starts to laugh as they're let in on the joke.Well this bizarre ad for Pine Brothers throat drops, starring Atlanta rapper Waka Flocka Flame, has that exact vibe—though you'll have to supply the laughs.

The Most Uplifting Ad You’ll See Today Is About a 15-Year-Old’s Incredible Cancer Research

Here's one from the warm-and-fuzzies school of advertising.Jack Andraka, barely a teenager, decided to develop an early-detection test for pancreatic cancer after his uncle died from the disease. [UPDATE: AdFreak has learned that the man who died might not technically have been Andraka's uncle but rather a close friend. In any case, Andraka has consistently referred to the man as an uncle.] He asked 200 researchers and other experts for help. Only one, a doctor of oncology at Johns Hopkins, provided him with lab space to use after school. At age 15, Andraka succeeded in developing a test that is 168 times faster, 400 times more sensitive, and 26,000 times less expensive than the medical standard.Intel tells Andraka's story in the ad below. What does a computer-chip manufacturer have to do with his invention? Not much, but Intel is the headlining sponsor—and has been since 1997—of the International Science and Engineering Fair, which gave Andraka its $75,000 grand prize for his work.The spot, from Venables Bell & Partners (and director Britton Caillouette of Farm League, himself a bone-cancer survivor), is a little self-congratulatory on Intel's part. But it's clever, too. The ad, which proceeds in reverse chronology, might make you feel the same sort of skepticism about Andraka that his idea met—but then you'll feel like a fool when you realize how quite amazing his accomplishment is. Credits below.

Can You Hear the Tone Hidden in This ‘Vision Test’?

Don't believe everything you see and hear in Draftfcb Toronto's deceptively clever TV and interactive poster campaign for Union Hearing Aid Centre. Known for its tricky advertising, the client's new "vision tests" display letters in successively smaller fonts in typical eye-chart fashion—but there's quite a surprise in store.

Ads Create Optical Illusions to Highlight Hospital’s Cramped Conditions

Here’s a creative way to highlight an issue as mundane as cramped working conditions. Instead of using computer-generated special effects, agency Dare creates optical illusions through custom set design in new ads for the British Columbia Children's Hospital Foundation. The skewed perspectives and furniture are properly disorienting (it's like they put a hospital in Willy Wonka's house), and the spots illustrate the hospital's current space issues in a way that might have proven too distracting with digital effects. Check out one ad below, watch another after the jump, and read more about the effort over at Adrants.

Ad Urging Doctors to Work in Africa Is Audible Only Through a Stethoscope

Africa Health Placements and South African agency Boomtown collaborated on a neat multimedia idea to encourage foreign doctors to work in Africa, where medical professionals are kind of desperately needed. The ad is a mailer rigged with a pressure-activated thingie (in technical jargon, a "doohickey") that plays an MP3 advertisement when a stethoscope is held against it.

Ad of the Day: St. John Ambulance

Few things build sympathy for a character quite like a battle with cancer. Such a battle encompasses three-quarters of this hard-hitting new PSA from BBH London for St. John Ambulance—beginning with a man's diagnosis and continuing through his recovery. But then, without warning, tragedy strikes.

Toshiba’s Human Guinea Pig Offends Real Test Subjects

You don't often hear about the clinical research community raising a ruckus, but Toshiba's new ad seems to be getting the lab crowd in a lather. The spot, touting the Toshiba Satellite Ultrabook's rigorous testing before release, stars a "professional medical test subject" who endures an array of cruel and unusual side effects.