PhRMA, the largest trade advocacy group for America’s Biopharmaceutical Companies, decided in 2017 to proactively take a stand against the general negativity and disdain that the industry faced primarily because of questionable pricing practices of some players within the industry. PhRMA determined that it needed a major reputation building campaign, that leveraged both paid and earned media, to ensure that the perspective was balanced. Client research suggested that the best way to improve the reputation of the industry was to focus on individual patient stories, but the WPP Partnership of Y&R and VML conducted additional insight work and found that there was an opportunity to showcase the remarkable innovation that is underway. Diseases have been cured and the eradication of others is in our sights. Biopharmaceutical company researchers believe there has never been a more exciting time to be working in medical science, that the human body is the next frontier for American exploration
We developed an overarching emotional creative approach GOBOLDLY to enable people to better appreciate our contributions. We launched with an execution featuring the Dylan Thomas poem, "Do Not Go Gentle" followed quickly by more literal expressions of the platform, comparing biopharmaceutical innovation in the human body now to earlier frontiers like space exploration. Campaign messaging varied from the emotional impact of “Do Not Go Gentle” to a more scientific and information-based approach, through a visually stunning execution showing cells attacking disease, and one that features a unique interpretation of human stories focusing on both researchers and patients. Offline assets were amplified by the various extensions into digital, including a campaign website, social and online advertising.