Drug and medical device advertising often features smiling, would-be patients enjoying life. However, a recent campaign created by Elevate Healthcare turned this thinking on its side.

As part of its work on an HCP campaign for Galen’s Adasuve inhalation powder, the agency asked people with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder to describe and draw agitation episodes. Using this information, Elevate created dual-sided portraits that highlighted their emotions and feelings.

“When you can emotionalize and differentiate the product, you create opportunities for clients,” explains Lorna Weir, one of two Elevate managing partners. “We are adept at getting people out into the marketplace, figuring out what’s unique, and using that to build a brand.” She notes Elevate employed similar tactics in its work on new client Grifols’ HyperRAB rabies immune globulin formulation launch.

The 2-year-old agency saw revenue go up 12%, from $5 million in 2016 to $5.6 million in 2017.

Elevate sees plenty of opportunities on the horizon. The most significant of its recent major hires was VP of client engagement and delivery Scott Harper, who arrived from Dudnyk. He’s a familiar face to Elevate managing partner and former Dudnyk prexy Frank Powers, who gave Harper his first job out of college.

elevate healthcare agency

Other hires included creative director Tara Powers, also of Dudnyk, and group art supervisor Paul Wesemann. These additions bring the staff count to 20, up from 11 in 2016 and 17 at the end of 2017.

Powers notes his team is focused on adding talent on multiple levels. He adds the slate of hires makes it clear management is working hard to keep friendship and partnership part of the overall growth strategy.

“As the company expands and grows, we’ve been able to continue with the same culture,” Powers says. “When we get into the room with a prospect or someone we know and share creative, they see there’s a place and time for us to help them do things in a different way and augment their marketing team.”

This translated into a total of 17 clients at the end of 2017, including seven AORs. Six of the 17 are new clients, including Grifols, Hill-Rom (for its clinical workflow solutions), and Insulet (for its Omnipod insulin management system).

With a burgeoning client list, the agency is looking to continue top-line growth, says Weir. “Our goal is to stay true to what led us to start Elevate.”