“Unexpected Casting” commercial by Les Gaulois, Puteaux, France, was done for the French Federation of Cardiology to emphasize how heart attacks manifest  differently in women than they do in men; the work was a Certificate winner in 2016


This year, Mobius Awards has expanded entry opportunities for human and veterinary healthcare advertising, including lifestyle products. The changes acknowledge that health and medical ads are among the 10 largest ad categories in the United States and one of the fastest growing.

“We have always had entry opportunities in healthcare advertising, but not as broadly offered as this year,” says Lee Gluckman, chairman of the Los Angeles-based international advertising competition. “Certainly, we believe more attention should be paid to pharma and healthcare, and to the increasing importance of veterinary products and services.”

“The last time I was at my vet’s office, Redondo Shores Veterinary Center in Redondo Beach, Calif., Dr. Dirk Yelinek pointed out at least a dozen trade publications and even more websites related to his field. With two pets, and a multitude of friends with pets, I certainly know personally the value of this service area,” he noted.

Animal, Pet Products and Services are among additional entry categories this year. Legacy entry mediums are Brochure-Book, Cinema-In-flight, Direct, Mixed Media Campaign, New Media, Online, Outdoor, Package Design, Photography, Point-of-Purchase, Print, Radio, Television and Student. Package Design categories include Sustainable Packaging and Packaging Redesign.

More focus on health and pharma advertising can be seen throughout the advertising market, but perhaps especially in digital where most growth is anticipated. For example, Facebook, which has a new initiative called “Facebook Health,” in June hosted a Health Summit for pharmaceutical marketers. The social media company said it recognized those marketers were “slowly shifting ad budgets from television to digital media.” Also, a Facebook executive met during Cannes Lions Health with drug maker Allergan to “discuss how pharma companies can form stronger connections” with patients via Facebook, CNBC reported in April.

Healthcare advertising is growing in digital ads, an area where traditionally it has spent the least, according to eMarketer. The research company in spring 2016 projected double-digit U.S. growth in digital for this segment through 2020.

Other projections for digital by eMarketer include:

  • Mobile advertising can provide a more personal way of targeting customers
  • Digital record laws have pushed physicians to digital interactions in B2B;
  • Wearable devices, such as fitness trackers, are affecting digital ad spending

The growth throughout the industry is strong enough that everyone wants a part of it. Medical Marketing and Media (MMM) magazine noted in August that Condé Nast, Time Inc., and Vice Media have started health content businesses, presumably to get some of the $6 billion expected to be invested in pharma advertising. Pharma is already Time’s largest ad category, according to MMM.

Vice, which works directly with healthcare brands to create branded and sponsored content, named its new health site, Tonic.

Healthcare Success, a marketing agency in Irvine, Calif., in late 2016 noted these among trends in the field:

  • Social messaging apps as marketing platforms;
  • Smarter content because consumers want it
  • Individualized marketing by identifying a person’s interests
  • Optimization for mobile
  • Location-based marketing
  • Live video

Steven Weultjes, founder of Cura Digital Agency headquartered in Sydney, Australia, in July credited “demographic and technological changes” for the shift in advertising.
Although some countries have increasing young populations, he noted the “aging global population matters,” in a Forbes magazine article, “The New World Of Healthcare Marketing: Lessons From Across The World.”

According to the European Union, “30% to 40% of healthcare expenditure is already spent on people aged 65 or older. International providers are seeing massive investments, changing business models, and new competitors entering the market. These are the implications we’re seeing around the globe,” said Weultjes.

“Marketing will play an important role in meeting the challenge of connecting and integrating the health system,” says Weultjes, who urged marketers to not let a focus on measurement overshadow a more important focus, “a measurement of health.”

Mobius Awards, founded in 1971 as an independent competition, is pleased to be a part of these trends by opening up fresh competition opportunities. The competition’s worldwide judges access entries online so that no judge knows how another has voted. The exception is packaging, which is viewed by two sets of judges, an in-person group and by online judges.

Mobius entries must have been produced between Oct. 1, 2016, and Oct. 1, 2017.  The deadline is Oct. 1. Questions should be directed to Kristen Szabo, Manager, Entrant Relations & Operations, at KristenSzabo@mobiusawards.com.

–By Sandra Kelly, Manager, Press and Media Relations, Mobius Awards

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