Dey Pharmaceuticals has delivered a terrific integrated DTC campaign for its EpiPen product. By using disease-state or “unbranded” advertising on television, on the web and in magazines, the campaign is integrated across media channels as well as in terms of distinct messaging. But it is most memorable for the way it uses children to tell the story of both the condition (anaphylaxis) and its treatment (EpiPen).

There are no sentimental or cutsie-poo children in the unbranded spots. Instead, we see real kids talking about real symptoms. They’re allowed to express themselves in their own language and use their own toys and gestures. None of them are sick or scared. Their very calmness is reassuring for such a dangerous condition. The ads direct viewers to a website that lets the user evaluate symptoms and triggers for severe allergic reactions such as anaphylaxis, but stresses the importance of seeking a health professional for more information and help.

Very effective branded ads were previously utilized that also use a child to tell the story. She told of her mom’s allergy to shellfish. Again, the tonality is just right. There are no scare tactics or terrified kids, just a well-informed, happy little girl that makes you want to listen. More stories are on the website, too.

Dey has done a great service to DTC by showing how well-integrated disease-state and branded advertising can work together. But they’ve also done a great service to DTC by creating such thoughtful, resonant advertising that drives action without fear.

Deborah Dick-Rath is SVP, healthcare practice leader, at FactorTG. Contact: [email protected]