The Top 75: Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness

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Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness has a newly simplified name and a more diverse portfolio, far removed from its origins as a TV advertising shop.

It's been a good year for the consumer agency formerly known as Saatchi & Saatchi Consumer Health + Wellness, which shortened its name in May. That month, the agency won the US integrated marketing account for Durex. That win was one of six in the past year, including: a Sanofi-Aventis CNS drug in development, along with an oncology franchise initiative for the firm; a Johnson & Johnson dermal filler; Novartis's BP Success Zone adherence CRM; and a developmental product at AstraZeneca.

The mix is in line with the shop's “wellness” positioning, by which it hopes to move beyond pharmaceuticals to compete in the broader health and wellness marketplace. “What we're psyched about in that collection of wins is that you've got skin care, you've got sex, you've got staying on your meds,” says Jim Joseph, managing director. Just two years ago, Joseph says about 80% of the agency's business was in TV, with the remainder made up of CRM assignments. Now it's an even split between DTC TV, CRM and digital work.

The only item on the debit side of the agency's register for the year was for Pulmicort Respules. AstraZeneca pulled advertising for the brand, which was facing generic competition as it neared patent expiration.

Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness adopted its holistic positioning in 2007. The shop brought Johanna Skilling on as director of strategic planning and charged her with the task of reengineering the department.

“It was really based on tried and true advertising techniques,” says Joseph. “That's how it was organized and what the thought processes were—it was very much geared toward developing TV advertising.” Now the shop's strategic planning starts with seeking deep insights into consumer behavior, “Really understanding how they live their lives, and how this product, whether it's a drug or a condom, fits in their lives. Once we know that, how do we build an experience for them, intersect with them in their lives? And the third area is analytics—really measuring what's working and what's not. We call it ‘Rinse and repeat.' We've reengineered our creative brief, which was very insight driven before, to be focused around who those people are, how they live their lives and how we can add value to that.”

In December, Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness reabsorbed Glow Worm, a 20-person shop it spun off three years ago. Glow Worm handled CRM assignments for Boehringer Ingelheim's HIV franchise, Takeda's Amitiza and Bayer's Finacea.

The agency recently refreshed its ground-breaking “Rooster” campaign for Ambien CR, with webisodes and new TV. But among recent efforts, Joseph is most proud of the agency's work on Acorda Therapeutics' “I Walk Because” campaign. “It's community-based, it's not mass-marketing, it's really targeted,” says Joseph. “All the work we've been doing on Acorda has been on joining that [MS] movement, not being a pharma company and telling them about this great drug but actually joining them. The numbers are really small, but it really counts. We go to a walk, we get a hundred people and that's a big achievement. It's kind of what marketing should be about.”
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