Private View: Barclay Missen

Healthcare promotion: Happiness isn't the only emotion

Barclay Missen, VP, chief creative officer, GA Communication Group
Barclay Missen, VP, chief creative officer, GA Communication Group

Healthcare marketers love to show how happy their products make people. We see happy patients, happy doctors, happy families—all smiling and enjoying their lives—but does it get our attention? Does it reflect the reality that we live in? There's a whole palette of emotion in all of us that, when touched, can have enormous impact. I've selected work that I admire for its emotional quality and stopping power. The messages are meaningful because they are honest and sincere. Great ads don't always have to make people happy. They are great because they move us deeply or change how we think.

Oscar Health Insurance—New Parents and You Never Know
These two ads from the same company are great examples of hypertargeting: two radically different approaches to two different audiences. The first, focusing on a family with a newborn, typifies the patient journey of typical new parents, who will identify with the scene. The second, an amusing, friendly, animated spot, appeals to twenty-somethings: Energetic globetrotters who need to prepare for anything: “Good health insurance for when bad things happen.” Two great approaches to two very different audiences—and both beautifully executed.

British Heart Foundation—Heart Disease Is Heartless
This one grabbed me by the heart by showing a tragedy from the kid's point of view. The shots and story are so compelling that I had to see it through to the end. The boy's daydream gives way to heartbreaking reality as we are taken to the principal's office, where the boy's mother waits—and we know the outcome, which is reinforced with a stellar last line: Heart disease is heartless. 

We've all been there. This spot uses humor to capture the frustration and anger we've all experienced in booking an appointment with a doctor via phone. In “Rabies,” a woman desperate to be seen by her doctor takes inspiration from her pup and feigns an “urgent” medical condition. And the tagline, “Doctors when you want them,” answers the need we've all wished for.

This social-media campaign offers flawless and innovative execution of a great—and big—idea, achieving the right balance between aspiration and reality. Actavis, marketers of an oral contraceptive, clearly understands the audience. The campaign is designed to develop an affinity with women, whether they choose birth control or not. Through Pinterest, Twitter, apps, a website and Instagram, this masterful campaign is a celebration of modern life. My favorite component is the Shemoji expression evaluator. Check it out:

Johnson & Johnson—Simponi Ken
I love this ad, which is a riveting slice of life that allows viewers to experience what it's like to be on this RA treatment. It's a wonderful mixture of highly polished frames combined with visuals that appear extemporaneous, and almost rough, making for a riveting viewing experience. A radical departure from what we usually see, the spot is the perfect blend of great technique, great content and a great storyline. With a punch at the end.

The most recent MM&M Skill Sets Live event, "Personalizing the Healthcare Experience," surveyed a range of issues relating to some of the industry's hottest topics. This e-book conveys a wealth of information and opinion designed to help marketers demystify the challenges associated with the personalization of healthcare messaging. Click here to access.