DDR on DTC: Humira

Share this article:

Abbott Laboratories has achieved something quite rare with the latest DTC print campaign for Humira, its rheumatoid athritis (RA) drug. The ads have only one small and rather prosaic illustration. The rest is mostly body copy including lots of fair balance.

Why is this rare? Most DTC print ads feature happy, healthy people frolicking on the beach, in the bath, running, biking…you know, “aspiring.” Or you may see a scientific illustration of a demonstration on how a drug works.

The Humira print campaign now running in newspapers and major magazines uses a simple, honest illustration of blue rubber gloves with the headline, “Doing Dishes.”

These are the only things in the ad that are not body copy. The simplicity of this illustration is intriguing, and I am sure it resonates with RA sufferers in a big way. Why? Because in this case, the “aspiration” is basic functionality.

If a person's hands are crippled with pain, the ability just to wash the dishes is probably a more realistic goal than, say, running a marathon or biking in the Rockies.

I once heard a critic of DTC creative say: “Oops. Your insights are showing,” and that thought occurred to me when I first viewed this ad. But then I thought, so what? Abbott is truly listening to RA sufferers, not interpreting them.

Deborah Dick-Rath is SVP, healthcare practice leader, at FactorTG. Contact: deborah.dick-rath@factortg.com
Share this article:
You must be a registered member of MMM to post a comment.

Email Newsletters

MM&M Future Leaders

Register now

Early bird $1,950 before 31 October 2014

*Group discounts available on request 


Patient access to pharmaceuticals is a tale of two worlds—affordability has improved for the majority, while the minority is hampered by cost, distribution and red tape. To provide marketers with a well-rounded perspective, MM&M presents this e-book chock full of key insights. Click here to access it.

More in Features

Read the complete October 2014 Digital Edition

Read the complete October 2014 Digital Edition

Click the above link to access the complete Digital Edition of the October 2014 issue of MM&M, with all text, charts and pictures.

Predicting your pink slip

Predicting your pink slip

Any time a firm needs to save money, high-salaried executives are targets

Private View: New ways to engage with customers

Private View: New ways to engage with customers

These healthcare social media campaigns successfully use emotion, altruism and the human desire to "brand" oneself to get customers engaged.