What do you do when you’re trying to raise awareness about a potentially life-threatening disease that elicits feelings of embarrassment from those most vulnerable to it? If you’re Patients & Purpose, you make a series of humorous videos starring two animated characters with rhyming names.
Oh, and those characters? Yeah, they’re a pair of testicles named Nad and Tad.
“We felt it was pretty important to bring light to the condition and help close the education gap, and just get men to get in touch with their testes,” says P&P managing partner, executive creative director Dina Peck. “As we’ve seen in the past, the best way to do that is not through something serious. That’s how these two hilarious testes were born.”
P&P partnered with renowned animation studio Aardman Nathan Love to bring Nad and Tad to life on behalf of the Testicular Cancer Foundation. The agency also teamed up with the Gun Hill Brewing Company to produce Nad and Tad’s Odd Ball Ale, which was available in 10 bars around New York City.
The idea for Nad and Tad came out of a timed creative session called an “experience brainstorm” (P&P has trademarked the term) that brings together people from several different disciplines across the agency. “Many of our hero ideas for brands have come out of this technique,” Peck says.
Another example of the no-holds-barred work the agency has recently produced is Fractured Truth, a collaboration with Radius Health meant to clear up misconceptions about osteoporosis. By using real-life examples of women who experienced symptoms of the disease but failed to recognize the early warning signs, the campaign puts an all-too-human face on the cause.
“We are incredibly proud to be bold and relentless when it comes to creating programs for patients,” Peck says. “We’re not afraid to look at the patient or consumer dynamic and hit at it straight on.”
Overall, the 2018 numbers paint a positive picture. The agency gained five new accounts while losing two and experienced “between 15% and 25%” growth, according to CEO and founder Deb Deaver. MM&M estimates 2018 revenue of $65 million, up 10.2% from last year’s estimate of $59 million.
P&P was founded as a digital shop and within its walls is a team that’s referred to as EDG (pronounced edge), which stands for emerging digital group. It also has a social media center of excellence that focuses exclusively on the expected platforms. But getting clients to buy into social is so, like, last year. Now it’s all about artificial intelligence, augmented reality and virtual reality, and how agencies can help clients navigate those innovations.
“When we do use emerging technologies, such as voice, it truly enhances the customer experience,” says P&P president Eliot Tyler. “So that’s one of the big changes we’re looking at in the coming year and a half: getting all of our clients as comfortable with emerging technologies in AI and AR as they’ve now become with social.”