This was the journal and collateral campaign that launched Sativex. Sativex is an oral spray for people with multiple sclerosis, to reduce the muscle stiffness and spasms that can prevent them doing simple everyday things. It’s the first cannabis medicine to be licensed in the UK, and a very considered approach was needed to differentiate the drug from other MS treatments, fend off scepticism and hype about it’s cannabis aspect, and inspire doctors, nurses, and patients with a positive product benefit, without being flippant or unrealistic.
After digesting research and being part of some sobering interviews with long-suffering patients, my writer and I developed ‘Small Victories’, a campaign that engages with the MS community in a sensitive, accessible way. Based around prosaic truths of living with MS – like how hard it can be just to catch a bus, open a bottle, or dry your hair – nuanced headlines are paired with shots commissioned from the photographic artist Peter Fraser, both in the press ads and the (just as important) range of patient and nurse/doctor booklets. While to a mainstream adland eye the campaign might appear unremarkable, it’s value lies in the precise targeting of the message, and in the pragmatic graphic design – driven by a ‘no nonsense’ intent and real issues such as impaired eyesight in patients.
This campaign won the product launch category in the 2011 Pharmaceutical Marketing Excellence Awards.