Private View: Doug Chapman

Doug Chapman, VP and creative director at LehmanMillet
Doug Chapman, VP and creative director at LehmanMillet

I love marketing that stops me, grabs me by the lapels and makes me want to spend time with a brand. I've held workshops with clients at which they thumb through magazines, flagging ads they liked and others they didn't. At most, an ad made a good impression; at the very least, it made an impression, albeit not a favorable one. However, 80% of the ads didn't get flagged at all, which is a sign that someone just wasted a lot of money. 

My advice to marketers: Do either really great work or work that fails but leaves an impact. The real danger is to fall somewhere—anywhere—in the middle, where invisibility reigns.

The following ads represent examples that stand out as well as some that fall in the dreaded middle. In my experience, the middle ground generally results from creative by committee rather than from the efforts of any hardworking copywriter, art director or ­digital specialist.

Company: Abbott
Who doesn't want their child to get proper nutrition? This ad doesn't omit the fun for the parent. A simple and whimsical visual that does the heavy lifting with a headline that gives it the final touch. Fantastic color palette that demands to be seen.

Breathe Freely
Company: Bayer
Nicely executed but as soon as I see the swoosh symbol, my eyes glaze over and move on to the next ad. The '90s are searching frantically for their design ­element and I think I just found it!

TV Spot
Company: Avera
Simplicity is the holy grail of any great concept. This spot for Avera Health Plans does a wonderful job of conveying the connectedness of their health network. The single shot effect throughout is a beautifully composed sym­phony of movement. Great music choice, too.

Company: Dabur
Let me be clear, I'm not someone who gets overly thrilled about potty humor, but this ad uses it very appropriately. Great illustration, which along with the product/logo, trumpets this brand's message loud and clear (sorry, that was bad).

Company: Farmaline
Okay, so it's a little hard to find the (muscle pain relief) product in this ad. Aside from that, the visual grabs you and conveys beautifully the pounding that your muscles—and your feet—will take. I can feel the discomfort just by looking at this. With the exception of the camouflaged product, smart copy and design choices are all over this.

Symposium Poster
No clever visual. No budget. No problem. Sometimes a good headline carries the day. This is a good example of “less is more.”

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