Boston, MA—There’s been a lot of chatter lately in the trade publications about how to liven up DTC pharma advertising, see this and this. Here’s one campaign that’s doing it right: the campaign for Allergan’s Viberzi, a prescription medication for Irritable Bowel Syndrome–Diarrhea. The new TV spot from Arnold Worldwide brings the humor, in the form of comedian Ilana Becker, who plays your worst frenemy. Her character, Irritabelle, personifies the annoying way that IBS-D disrupts everyday life, and does so in a way that leaves you laughing. There’s great insight at the core of this campaign—that IBS-D is like an embarrassing shadow that follows you around everywhere, and it needs to be part of the human conversation so that people can feel comfortable seeking help. We’re looking forward to seeing the other campaign tactics roll out.

Why this matters:

This is the kind of ad that people relate to; it cuts to the core of how you feel as a person living with this condition, and helps you realize you don’t have to feel this way. Humor and healthcare can, and often should, go hand-in-hand; though it’s not always the right approach, humor can definitely make pharma feel more human. And as an agency that speaks people, that’s exactly what we’re here to do.

Check out the TV Spot here.

About the Author:

As Managing Director of Innovation and Insights for Syneos Health Communications, Leigh is responsible for building and scaling a global team of healthcare experts who together help life science leaders better understand the complex lives, influences and expectations of their customers. Specifically, they uncover actionable insights that fuel empathy and creativity; lead co-creation events that let marketers learn from peers, trends, and new possibilities; and help clients identify the most valuable and useful new customer experiences to create.

Leigh has worked with Fortune 1000 companies to craft their digital, mobile, social and CRM strategies for nearly 20 years.She’s worked for category-leading agencies in retail, public affairs, B2B technology, and higher education. Prior to moving to Syneos Health Communications, she held several leadership roles at our largest agency, GSW.  There, she founded an innovation practice fueled by the zeitgeist and spearheaded digital and innovation thinking across the business.

Leigh has taken a special interest in complex healthcare products that can change lives in meaningful ways. She was recently a strategic lead on the 3rd largest launch in pharmaceutical history: Tecfidera. Before that she had keys roles with Eli Lilly Oncology, Abbott Nutrition, Amgen Cardiovascular, and Eli Lilly Diabetes.

A critical part of Leigh’s work is trends and new ideas. Every year, she convenes a group of trend watchers from across our global network to identify the shifts most critical to healthcare marketers. This year, she led over 250 experts to experts to focus on the most important changes in the commercial, consumer, marketing, digital and healthcare landscapes. (See reports at

Leigh is a sought-after writer and speaker. Recognized as one of the most inspiring people in the pharmaceutical industry by PharmaVoice and Top 10 Innovation Catalysts of 2017 by MM&M, Leigh also was recognized  as a Rising Star by the Healthcare Businesswomen's Association (HBA) for her overt passion, industry thought leadership and significant contributions in new business, strategy and mentoring.