Cervarix smashes through with new ads from Ogilvy

October 26, 2010  |  Chris Powell  |  Comments

Drug manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline has launched its first consumer-focused campaign in support of its vaccine Cervarix. The vaccine protects against the viruses HPV 16 and 18, which are known to cause most cases of cervical cancer.

The campaign’s centerpiece is a 30-second TV spot called “Tattoo Punch” (there is also a French-language version). The spot opens on a blurry silhouette of a woman and slowly advances through a series of screens bearing typewritten facts regarding cervical cancer, such as “up to 4 out of 5 women will be infected with the virus that causes cervical cancer” and “every 6 hours, one Canadian woman is diagnosed with cervical cancer.”

The images are accompanied by a melancholy piano line and voiceover reciting the sobering statistics.

After the final revelation that “every day, one of us dies of cervical cancer” appears on the screen, viewers see a close-up of the woman’s face, her mouth set in determination. The camera cuts to her clenching her fist and then screaming as she punches through a glass pane bearing the message.

As she slowly turns away from the camera, viewers see a tattoo of the Cervarix logo on her upper arm, accompanied by the words “armed against cervical cancer.”

The spot was directed by Michael Maxxis, who has directed videos for several prominent Canadian bands–including Hot Hot Heat, Billy Talent and Bedouin Soundclash–and was named director of the year at the 2010 MuchMusic Video Awards.

“He was able to bring it to that next level for us and kind of make it epic,” said Sylvie Bidal, creative director for Ogilvy Healthworld in Toronto, the agency behind the work. “It was all about breaking through and making people notice.”

The ad, targeting women 18-25, is running on video pre-roll for MTV and MuchMusic shows, as well as in episodes of Global Television’s hit show Glee. It is also appearing in movie theatres.

The TV creative is being supported by print and transit ads showing the woman, her Cervarix tattoo and the same “armed against cervical cancer” message along with facts about cervical cancer and a link to the Cervarix.ca web site.

“We wanted to bring forward the seriousness, but we also wanted to show that we’ve got the means to defeat this now and make women feel empowered,” said Bidal of the campaign’s creative approach.

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