DDR on DTC: Gilenya

Deborah Dick-Rath
Deborah Dick-Rath

I have to pile on this month and add to the commentary on the new DTC campaign for Novartis' multiple sclerosis (MS) drug ­Gilenya. The “Take This!” campaign is remarkable because of its high energy and attitude—attitude, quite frankly, that is rarely, if ever, observed in DTC advertising—and what's so great is that it comes from patients. Novartis and its agency, Draftfcb, have captured the patients' “'tude” and use it to build their brand across multiple communication channels.

The print ad, featuring patients sticking their tongue out at the disease, displays this attitude—we even see the Gilenya capsule on some of the tongues. In one visual, we understand this is a pill, not an injection and the bright young faces radiate confidence.


The campaign leverages the best of today's customer-focused architecture, using a conversation between the patient and the ­Gilenya brand. While this is not a new way to advertise, it is seldom done as holistically or purposefully in pharma as we see here. Patients are directed to a website that looks like the print ad. From there, they can read patient sound bites that drive the brand story.

Although this campaign has the energy of spontaneity, we know it is thoughtful, well-designed and comprehensive, representing a lot of work from the client and the agency. We're sure that MS patients, their families and physicians are thankful for that effort.

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

Next Article in Pharmaceutical