Blood brands

A brand revolution manifesto from Bleublancrouge
EVP/CD Gaëtan Namouric, abetted by Justin Kingsley.

See the back page.

It’s 1933 and an alligator is stitched onto a tennis shirt. Lacoste and his buddy Gillier launch the 1212 Model and in so doing release previously collared brands. Lacoste invents mass status lifestyle brands, bling and showing off. The world changes, going from brands that people carry to brands that carry people. Yet since then, nothing is new. In many ways, advertisers stop inventing.

Now, every ‘new’ development leads to hallelujahs. Colour TV, newsworthy creative, electronic ink, consumer 2.0. We’re looking for revolutions. And revolution is not a bad word.

Today, the new revolution is pharma. NeoPharma.

Yesterday, the generic folks walked onto the scene. Generic means competition, a new market order. A duty, therefore, for brand names to seduce rather than just service needs. This change is as important as the Lacoste alligator. Only this time, it’s a brand that lives inside. Inside our bodies. In our guts. Throughout our systems. Yes, in our blood. Is there any greater challenge than this?

Until now, pharma was about physicians, charts and percentages. It wasn’t about the people taking the meds. We exist in a regulated pharma world, one that prevents communication about product benefits.

What will happen with NeoPharma? Consumers will choose meds just like they choose sneakers.

They’ll start driving doctors nuts by turning the tables on them. Pharma companies will have to stop selling pills to doctors and begin building brands and campaigns for the people – whether governments like it or not. More Viagra, Pfizer’s ‘More than medication’ platform and Bristol-Myers Squibb’s ‘Luvu2′ efforts.

It means creative directors will have to don a white lab coat (no alligator) and pop a new pill. This way, brands that live inside people will be born.

We’ll see consumers who prefer the branded pill because the generic one just isn’t as cool (and they won’t be sure exactly why). Tennis players’ headbands will sport pill logos. What everyone’s ingesting will be the latest cool status symbol. People will look in a friend’s medicine cabinet like it’s a closet, and not a secret.

Heck, we may even help put an end to stigma!