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.
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