A ranking of 2015's DTC Ads

To hear SSCG Media Group president Debbie Renner address it, great DTC pharma advertising during the last year or so has been “sparse.” That's not to say, however, that any number of spots failed to land with the desired impact. Here, she shares her picks for the Top 10 DTC ads of the year.

1. Belsomra/Merck 

This ad nails the difference between sleeping and not sleeping through personified words. It connects with people who have insomnia by articulating how it feels to enjoy sleep and not enjoy being awake. I particularly like the scene when the hero puts “wake” to bed.

2. Tecfidera/Biogen 

This spot, a first for the MS category, attempts to change the way people think about MS treatments by giving the pill a starring role. The ad invites people to “imagine another perspective” on MS while showing the journey of a woman participating in activities that take place across different seasons with excellent use of live action and CGI.

3. Pradaxa/Boehringer Ingelheim 

This ad helps consumers understand a misunderstood medical condition by using a metaphor of fish to represent blood cells. The idea is simple and memorable. And while stroke is scary, you get the feeling that with Pradaxa, the condition can be prevented in a less worrisome way.

4. Otezla/Celgene 

It's a pill that treats plaque psoriasis, and the target audience is captured quickly when members of it are challenged to show off more of themselves. Let your playful show, your mellow show – that's what people with psoriasis would love. I thought the casting seemed rather strange, but the idea at its core is smart and taps into a consumer truth.

5. Xifaxan/Salix 

What better way to create a Super Bowl ad than to depict an animated intestine attending the big game and even spotting itself on the Jumbotron? The spot has generated a lot of buzz, but whether you love it or hate it, you can't argue that it created a lot of talk around IBS-D. Plus the little gut guy is unquestionably memorable … and kind of adorable.

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