Live from Cannes Lions: At Merck, there is a new brief: make creative irresistible. Merck wants to make healthcare brands irresistible by creating experiences that consumers stop, watch and engage, even in low-interest categories.
Three commitments help them build those experiences:
- Start with a shared aspiration that aligns closely with what the HCP or patient want to accomplish. Encourage them to be their best selves or invite them to be part of a movement.
- Communicate with emotion. No matter how attractive a person or campaign, it’s emotion that makes the connection.
- Fuel love at first sight: In crowded categories, filled with so much sameness, think about the aspects that can attract and stand out
This approach has helped create global campaigns that move brands along Merck’s “love brand path” that shows the growth of buyer commitment over time.
Atilla Cansun, Chief Marketing Officer of Merck Consumer Healthcare, shared a number of examples of how this brief re-built brands. Two of our favorites were Nasivin and Seven Seas.
Nasivan is a nasal decongestant. It’s irresistible brief:
- Aspiration: Let everyone be free to breathe healthy
- Insight for emotional communication: Men whine significantly more than women when they have a cold
- Love at first sight: New premium packaging that consumers would be happy to carry
The result was a memorial series of ads and online videos that ran under local brand names around the world with the very memorable takeaway: “end both your suffering two days sooner.” The brand grew 51% over three years.
Seven Seas is a liquid vitamin brand. One of many omega 3 products with little differentiation and less insight about what makes people pick one over the other. Merck gave the commodity focus:
- Aspiration: Help people stay younger and feel younger at heart for longer
- Insight for emotional communication: Ae you age your heart beats for moments spent with those who matter most to you
- Love at first sight: New premium packaging that stood out on generic shelves
The result of the new focused media was 63% growth over 3 years.