LevLane’s willingness to engage in categories beyond traditional pharma — everything from devices and diagnostics to institutional health — shone through in its 2020 new business slate. Of the five assignments the agency picked up during the year, four of them were for continuing care or retirement communities.

“We understand what it takes to get a shovel in the ground and get residents to buy,” says chief innovation leader Timmy Garde. (The fifth win was United Concordia and its dental insurance program.) 

In and around pharma, Garde touts two accomplishments achieved during 2020. The first was the launch of Twirla, a combined hormonal contraceptive patch from Agile Therapeutics. LevLane had been working with Agile Therapeutics for close to five years when Twirla was approved in February 2020.


“It is the first introduction of a patch like this since the early 2000s,” Garde notes. “Getting it to market has been a rewarding experience.”

Garde also references an assignment that was very much of its particular time: work on BioReference Laboratories’ PCR antibody and rapid COVID-19 tests. As part of a broad charge, LevLane handled everything from PR and social media to content and paid search.

“We did outreach to retail establishments to let people know the tests are available,” Garde says, describing BioReference as “one of the top companies helping our country with diagnostic tests.” 

While COVID-19 presented internal challenges for LevLane — as it did for everyone — Garde is particularly heartened that the agency’s culture survived shutdown. “We are a very entrepreneurial company built on love” is how he phrases it. “Everyone is treated as an equal. It doesn’t matter what your title is; everyone has a seat at the table and can voice their opinion.”

Revenue ticked up 7%, from $11 million in 2019 to $11.8 million in 2020. The agency ended the year with 75 full-timers under its roof, the same number it had at the start of the year. Additions included SEO/content specialist Brianna Strouse and revenue manager Jason Thomas.

Just as LevLane took pains to care for its own people, the agency strove over the course of the year to keep an eye on its clients. In addition to helping client teams usher in the new era of telemedicine, LevLane’s SEO, analytics and development groups found themselves in high demand, Garde reports. 

“We have pivoted where our clients needed us to pivot, in order to make sure HCPs are engaged with our clients and their brands,” he says. “We are upfront with our clients on what we can make happen for them from a technology perspective.”

Around 80% of LevLane’s 2020 growth stemmed from new work from existing clients, including agency mainstays such as Eagle Pharmaceuticals, US Digestive Health and Dash Pharmaceuticals. “We are extensions of our clients’ teams and we have strong, long-lasting relationships,” Garde says. “Those go deep from the top of the house all the way down to new employees.”

. . .

The idea I wish I had…

Nike’s You Can’t Stop Us is a brilliant combination of voiceover, music and visuals. The spot conveys individuality but also the ideas of impossibility to possibility and negativity to positivity. Men, women, straight, gay or disabled, complete inclusion is presented. The spot says no matter who you are, you can do it and you shouldn’t let anyone tell you differently. — Timmy Garde