DDR on DTC: Intermezzo

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Deborah Dick-Rath
Deborah Dick-Rath

Purdue Pharmaceuticals has taken a big step forward with its new multichannel campaign for its sleep aid, Intermezzo. It's a big step because this drug is laden with frightening fair balance and a Medication Guide. You probably remember the stories about Ambien, this drug's generic Grandpa. But still, recognizing the power of DTC to drive scripts, Purdue has seen the light. Or light bulb, I should say, since they are using a friendly, animated old-fashioned light bulb as their key brand icon.

The 90-second TV commercial and online video effectively tell the brand's story by conveying the interrupted sleep problem/solution with charming fairy-tale imagery. The gentle, friendly light bulb character is in high contrast to the anxiety that often accompanies sleeplessness or insomnia.

In this case, the TV spot is more effective at communicating the branding than the print ad. The 90-second timeframe is long enough to show how the brand works to resolve the patient problem. The overall effect of a calm, quiet solution is delivered. Unfortunately, the corresponding two-page ad appears so limited in space that it is forced to use a product description as a headline and simply bullet points the features and benefits. The creative team seems to have had both hands tied behind its back, and it shows. Let's just hope for Purdue and Intermezzo that all the middle-of-the-night insomniacs are watching a little TV instead of flipping through a magazine

Deborah Dick-Rath is the president of Epic Proportions, a healthcare communications consultancy. She can be reached at deborahdrath@optonline.net

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