DDR on DTC: Actonel

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Actonel, the osteoporosis drug from Warner Chilcot-Sanofi Aventis, is takin' it to the streets! Their new “educational” campaign uses an actor dressed as a doctor (remember those quaint “man-in-white” TV guidance rules?) to accost people on city streets with the catchy phrase, “I'm out here talking about osteoporosis.” His purpose is to remind target women that their bones may be in danger. When they lament: “What can I do?” this “doctor” directs them to ask their own doctor about Actonel. The streets are conveniently loaded with brand signage—logos on the taxis and banners on the buildings. There's even a computer screen street-side that pops up with pertinent info.

Leveraging a man-on-the-street format from the Mad Men era, these spots, do offer disease and treatment information and they do underscore a sense of urgency. The print ads use a straightforward doctor Q&A, and overall, the campaign's integration of DRTV spots with brand-building is synergistic and effective. The drawback is that even though the doc-on-the-street approach is “educational,” it doesn't feel very fresh and it certainly conveys a sense of “been there, done that.” Of course, for the target audience of aging female Baby Boomers, that might be right in their comfort zone. The only thing missing is the Doobie Brothers soundtrack.

Deborah Dick-Rath is SVP, healthcare practice leader, at FactorTG. deborah.dick-rath@factortg.com

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