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DTC in Perspective: Entresto Is Interesto!

I was a strong supporter of the Novartis heart failure disease awareness ad. This was the one with the man in the room with water pouring in and filling up the room. It was criticized by some doctors for being alarmist. I never thought so myself, as heart failure is about as serious cause for alarm as there can be.

Bob Ehrlich

“Entresto is a solid ad that is memorable and positive.”
-Bob Ehrlich

The disease ad was a precursor to a branded ad for Entresto, which I can’t stop thinking of as Ernesto. This ad is the polar opposite in tone to the disease education campaign. While the message of preventing heart failure is the same, the branded ad takes an uplifting approach.

The ad uses the song from Annie, “Tomorrow” which I guarantee you will sing for at least 24 hours after seeing it. It is a series of patient vignettes where the actors sing parts of the song. The message is that Entresto will help make more tomorrows possible. The commercial is beautifully simple and engaging.

I have to give Novartis and their agency, McCann, a lot of credit for a combination of disease and branded ads so different yet entirely complementary. The disease ad really stopped you in your tracks alerting viewers that heart failure is something to watch out for and act on. While deadly serious in tone, I think it was entirely appropriate. They could have used the same idea for the branded ad but they smartly chose to play up the positives. It is better to promise in the branded campaign hope about living longer than warning about early death.

What was necessary in the disease ad to get your attention was not the best approach in the branded ad. Instead showing a world of family and friends that you can enjoy longer if you treat with Entresto was a good approach. I am sure the doctors critical of the disease ad had the opposite reaction to the “Tomorrow” campaign.

I am not sure whether the criticisms from the medical community affected the branded strategy. Maybe that led to the decision to go more upbeat. In any event, whatever the reason, Entresto is a solid ad that is memorable and positive

Bob Ehrlich
Chairman & Chief Executive Officer at DTC Perspectives
Bob Ehrlich has over 20 years marketing experience in pharmaceutical and consumer products. Bob is the CEO of DTC Perspectives, Inc., a DTC services company founded in 2000. DTC Perspectives, Inc. developed the DTC National Conference, the largest DTC conference in the industry. DTC Perspectives, Inc. also publishes DTC Perspectives, a quarterly journal dedicated to DTC issues and practices. In addition DTC Perspectives, Inc. does DTC consulting for established and emerging companies, and provides DTC marketing plans for pharmaceutical companies.

2 Responses to DTC in Perspective: Entresto Is Interesto!

  1. Interested Party May 13, 2016 at 6:37 pm #

    As a relative of someone who has reduced injection fraction CHF and who could potentially benefit from Entresto I find the branded ad to be in poor taste. It is excessively sentimental and borders on being trite and sophomoric.
    A better choice of music might be “Stayin Alive”, by the “BeeGees, and would also be more apropos for “Baby-Boomers”.

  2. Michelle August 13, 2016 at 1:49 am #

    Are you nuts?! You are the only person who likes that commercial and several public efforts are being made to stop the annoying thing.It is just horrible!

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