AbelsonTaylor Group

AbelsonTaylor Group

433 W. Van Buren Street, Suite 650N, Chicago, IL 60607

312-894-5500 • [email protected]abelsontaylor.com

 

Quick facts

Accounts

  • Account wins: 7
  • Active business clients: 18

Brands by 2023 sales

  • Brand-product accounts held 40

Services mix

  • Account planning
  • Creative
  • Clinical strategy
  • Digital marketing
  • Engagement and social strategy
  • In-house production
  • Marketing intelligence
  • Media
  • Project management  
MACI

Finalist | Best Medical Device Campaign
By capitalizing on patients’ intrinsic athletic motivations, the MACI “No Challenge. No Change.” campaign is an experience that puts both the HCP and patient on the same path to better outcomes.

Client roster

  • Acelyrin
  • Aerovate Therapeutics
  • Aimmune Therapeutics
  • Arcutis Biotherapeutics
  • Astellas Pharma US
  • Avanos Medical
  • Biogen
  • City Of Hope
  • Coherus Biosciences
  • Cooper Surgical
  • CSL Behring
  • Fresenius Kabi USA
  • G1 Therapeutics
  • Neurocrine Biosciences
  • Pharmacosmos Therapeutics
  • PharmaEssentia
  • Radius Health
  • Seres Therapeutics
  • Takeda Pharmaceuticals
  • Vericel Corporation

Finalist

  • Best Medical Device Campaign

2023 was a high velocity year for AbelsonTaylor Group, agency leaders say. Reflecting its successful expansion into new areas of healthcare marketing, the company announced its formation of an independent network containing three business units: flagship agency AbelsonTaylor, opportunity agency AT Nutrient, and full-service production studio DOSE. Executives say the new structure accommodates continuous elevation of company offerings and enables the group to fully leverage its skills and take on a broader range of clients and assignments. Along with this evolution came significant transformational and innovative changes in business leadership and creative direction.   

With revenues surpassing $70 million, AT Group exceeded its 15 percent growth target for 2023, according to leaders. “Teams successfully integrated new approaches leveraging the agency’s 40-plus years of industry leadership to fuel the agency’s unstoppable launch engine and advance its mission to ‘Help the world choose better health’ and provide clients with strategic creative that delivers measurable business results, fulfilling its brand promise of a ‘Return on Imagination.’” 

Recent accomplishments

Beginning with the launch of Zurzuvae (zuranolone) and its headline-grabbing FDA approval for treating postpartum depression, AT Group helped Biogen and Sage gain high physician adoption of their new product, the first and only oral, 14-day treatment for PPD.

Executives say AT Group’s upward trajectory continued with Ingrezza (valbenazine). Following the strong performance of the brand’s memorable “Spotlight” DTC broadcast spot, in 2023 the agency evolved the “Best of Both Worlds” HCP campaign as Ingrezza launched a new indication for Chorea associated with Huntington’s disease. In early 2024, Neurocrine announced Ingrezza net product sales for 2023 at $1.84 billion, representing growth of 29 percent year-over-year.

In March, AT Group saw another major win when awarded the brand business for an osteoporosis treatment. “Partnering with the client’s brand team, the agency helped develop and launch a powerful new DTC campaign for the brand,” executives say. “Additional promotional assets are slated for later this year and the brand is poised to make a resounding impact in helping more osteoporosis patients access bone rebuilding treatment. A creative campaign targeting HCPs is also under way, ensuring a comprehensive approach to maximizing success. Because AT Group’s work exceeded expectations, the client subsequently awarded the agency the brand business for another osteoporosis treatment.”

Additionally, AT Group made great strides with Seres Therapeutics and Nestle Health Sciences with the April 2023 launch of Vowst (fecal microbiota spores, live-brpk) capsules, the first and only oral microbiome therapeutic to prevent recurrent C. diff infections. According to leaders, AT Group helped generate quick uptake after launch and continues to manage the brand’s media and analytics. 

The agency also gained new work from a global biopharmaceutical innovator developing a disease education campaign for HCPs on the root cause of polycythemia vera.    

Meanwhile, AT Group continues working with long-time client CSL on brands Hizentra (immune globulin subcutaneous), Hemgenix (etranacogene dezaparvovec-drlb), and Haegarda (C1 esterase inhibitor subcutaneous). AT Group is also ramping up global campaign development for CSL’s garadacimab (CSL312), the newest product for the hereditary angioedema category.

AT Group’s longstanding client Vericel continued to build momentum as Maci (autologous cultured chondrocytes on porcine collagen membrane) evolved in innovation. The company expects to soon launch a new arthroscopic approach to repairing cartilage damage in the knee, opening new opportunities for surgeons and patients to experience the MACI advantage.

As AT Group heads into 2024, executives say they are excited to be working with Arcutis on Zoryve (roflumilast), which received a second FDA approval in late 2023 to treat seborrheic dermatitis in patients ages nine and older. 

Astellas’ antifungal Cresemba (isavuconazonium sulfate), which AT Group helped launch several years ago, received a much-anticipated label update, allowing it to be used in pediatric patients. “With this approval, Cresemba is now the only azole antifungal therapy approved by the FDA for the treatment of IA and IM in patients as young as one year,” executives say. “AbelsonTaylor Group teams worked quickly to update all digital and collateral materials to reflect this exciting new indication.” 

Lastly, AT Nutrient’s newest client, Aerovate Therapeutics, has a novel TKI inhibitor being studied in patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension.  Managers say the agency is supporting Aerovate’s clinical communications across select channels and looking forward to expanding communications in 2024.

According to agency leaders, in 2023 AT Group welcomed 47 new hires, promoted 23 staff, and mentored 13 interns. “The agency continues to seek and attract the best talent nationally, expanding its footprint with employees from 22 states across the U.S.,” executives say.

Managers say growth and change marked the year with the retirement of Stephen Neale, who served as chief creative officer for 35 years. “Taking the reins, Janet Barker-Evans joined the agency as executive VP, chief creative officer, and immediately began making her mark as a change agent, implementing a new series of Sandbox Sessions to guide creative teams in their mastery of the latest tools and techniques of their craft,” executives state.

Leaders say AT Group continued to grow valuable industry alliances and advocate for the free exchange of scientific and medical information through its relationships with the Coalition for Healthcare Communication (CHC) and American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s). The company also continued to support the Medical Advertising Hall of Fame in preserving and honoring the heritage of healthcare advertising and recognizing its most respected practitioners and promising Future Famers. Additionally, AT Group is a corporate sponsor of the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association and in 2023 played various roles in the group’s annual national meeting, which was held in Chicago. The agency also forged new partnerships with PulsePoint/WebHealth and Sprout Social while maintaining its strong relationships with cloud-computing leaders Veeva Systems and other technology companies supporting the agency’s digital-first focus on industry-leading technological advances.

Executives maintain that one of AT Group’s most important 2023 expansions was the growth of its Integrated Strategy department, which focused on innovations in two key areas – media and marketing intelligence. The company established a full service, self-managed media agency within AT Group, consolidating its media strategy, planning, and implementation services into what executives characterize as “a sophisticated, high-value offering that gives account teams and clients better control, performance and ROI for their media dollars.”

The agency also continued to improve and build advanced analytics services in the marketing intelligence team, leveraging more access to omnichannel and media data and developing multi-touch attribution models to improve campaign optimization for clients.

“Many new capabilities and progressive approaches to client work and workflows implemented at AT Group in 2023 led to numerous awards and an exceptional culture that promotes creative excellence, professional growth, and career fulfillment,” executives say.

In the creative sector, AT Group won 13 competitive industry awards and secured 26 finalist placements. Additionally, the agency was recognized for its programs in building a culture of respect and advancing the careers of women at the agency through its DEI-driven Psychological Safety Initiative. The program received the 2023 ACE Aspire Award from the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association and was also named a top innovation of 2023 by PM360 magazine. Two other employee programs were recognized with global WorkLife Awards, winning in the categories of Best Onboarding Process and Best Wellness Program. 

AT Group also expanded staff career development opportunities in 2023 with a series of Sandbox Sessions exploring various advanced technologies such as generative AI applications for text, graphics, and music. The agency also hosted quarterly connectAT gatherings themed to teamwork, curiosity, and helping the world choose better health, in addition to staging the first-ever
ElevATe Summit to share ideas and technologies, and update teams on new developments in pharmacology and medical science. Executives say teams also enjoyed open discussion with AT Group’s Senior Leadership Team and in-person collaboration fests on Wednesday Anchor Days at the agency’s “spectacular” headquarters in Chicago’s Old Post Office building.

The agency continued to advance its DEI initiatives in 2023 and expand its Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), including Accessibility, Mental Health, Pride at AT, SomosAT, and the newly formed MelanATed. Lastly, AT Group hosted a variety of programs throughout the year, including a Juneteenth lunch and learn, training on the language of diversity, mental health conversations with NAMI, a presentation by the youth-led organization GenderCool, and an event celebrating winter holidays around the world.

Structure and services

AbelsonTaylor Group is the parent company of three healthcare marketing business units headquartered in Chicago. Leaders describe AbelsonTaylor as “a fiercely independent full-service health and wellness advertising agency that has been creating award-winning work that drives clients’ business success (Return on Imagination) for more than 40 years.” They characterize AT Nutrient as an “opportunity agency for challenger brands” and category competitors with existing AbelsonTaylor clients. Dose is a full-service production group with a state-of-the-art production studio. 

AbelsonTaylor Group offers a full range of client services, executives say. Its creative services comprise brand story and messaging development, creative concepting, art direction, and design across the full omnichannel marketing spectrum. Clinical strategy includes pharmacological and clinical research analysis and competitive assessment.

Marketing intelligence has market condition analysis, measurement, performance analytics and optimization, data aggregation for visualization, and media mix modeling. Engagement and social strategy has customer
experience-centric omnichannel marketing strategy, including all paid media, social media, owned content platforms, organic, CRM, and data-driven audience segmentation.

Account planning offers services such as brand foundation and communication strategy development, insight-driven purchase decision journeys, and behavioral science expertise. Digital marketing includes user experience design and testing, in-house programming, QA testing, documentation development and maintenance, mobile optimization, and accessibility analysis. Media services offers  HCP and DTC media planning, ad operations, traditional and programmatic buying, display, paid social, paid search, OTT/Connected TV, and direct media.

With in-house production, the agency provides art and broadcast production across all channels, digital development for use in web, CRM, email, mobile, and IVA applications. Project management has business optimization, financial management, and project planning, and account services include business strategy development, brand planning, and strategic and tactical execution.

Future plans

As AbelsonTaylor Group continues to expand its offerings in AI, marketing intelligence and media, its departments and staff continue to grow to accommodate new services and technologies, agency leaders say.

“AT Group aims to integrate and leverage artificial intelligence within AT Group and in the services the agency provides to clients to enrich the patient and HCP experience,” executives state. “The agency will continue to pioneer innovative AI solutions that enhance creativity, efficiency, and data-driven decision-making. AT Group is committed to exploring and implementing AI technologies that streamline internal operations, enrich client strategies, and elevate the overall digital experience, upholding the highest standards of ethical AI use, with a focus on transparency, privacy, and inclusivity.”

According to leaders, as AT Group further deploys its advanced, industry-leading multi-touch attribution model, the agency’s marketing intelligence department will continue to provide valuable insight into the impact of dozens of marketing channels and how they influence HCP decisions. “This innovative tool will achieve every brand’s goal of discovering and honing the right message in the right place at the right time.”

With continued expansion of its media department, AT Group will announce additional offerings in 2024 that provide a “richer array” of in-house services that enable clients to centralize their strategic media planning and buying under one roof, with considerable economic advantages for clients, managers promise. 

Philanthropy/citizenship

In 2023, HeartsATWork, the agency’s corporate social responsibility program, supported 10 charities and continued its focus on key areas that amplify human connection and AT Group’s efforts promoting health and wellness for all. Executives say this included the agency’s 21-year partnership with Heifer International, which currently focuses on addressing food insecurity in Ecuador through an initiative with 18,000 small-scale farmers called Future of Food, and in the U.S. and AT Group’s hometown of Chicago through initiatives with Feeding America and Nourishing Hope.

In other HeartsATWork activities, AT Group participated in “Movember,” the annual international event in which men grow mustaches in November to increase awareness of men’s health issues and raise funds for the Movember Foundation. The agency raised more than $10,000 for the foundation in 2023.  A month later, AT Group staged its annual Winterfest, during which employees made and delivered more than 150 craft kits, books, and other treats to patients at the University of Chicago Comer Children’s Hospital. Staff also made more than 160 meals to help Chicago’s Night Ministry feed unhoused families and provided personal care packages for Sarah’s Circle women’s shelter, also in Chicago. 

“AT Group’s environmental preservation group, the ConservATion Crew, organized a full schedule of activities surrounding Earth Day, enabling staff to promote the health of our planet through hands-on opportunities to plant trees and learn about sustainable gardening,” executives say.

And AT Group’s house band competed in the Battle for Hope, an annual fundraiser benefiting Off the Street Club, an organization serving kids in Chicago’s West Garfield Park inner city community. The event pits bands from Chicagoland ad agencies against each other in a battle of the bands. AT Group helped raise more than $46,000 to help send 300 Off the Street Club members to summer camp at a 30-acre rural retreat in Wheaton, Ill.

AbelsonTaylor Group

(left to right) Janet Barker-Evans, executive VP, chief creative officer; Jeanine Koch, executive VP, project management; Keith Stenlund, executive VP, chief financial officer; Dale Taylor, CEO; Lynnette Hunter, executive VP, director of client services; Jeff Berg, president