AGENCY OF THE YEAR, CATEGORY II
BEST PROFESSIONAL CAMPAIGN
BEST SELF-PROMOTIONAL CAMPAIGN
MOST ADMIRED AGENCY
BEST CONSUMER CAMPAIGN
BEST INTERACTIVE PHYSICIAN CAMPAIGN
BEST PROFESSIONAL CAMPAIGN
|Active business clients||35|
|Brands by 2013 sales|
|Brand-product accounts held||89|
|$25 million or less||26|
|$25 million – $50 million||6|
|$50 million – $100 million||16|
|$100 million – $500 million||23|
|$500 million to $1 billion||9|
|$1 billion or more||19|
|Advertising and promotion (print, interactive, and digital media)||100%|
American Medical Systems
Elanco Animal Health
Johnson & Johnson Services
OSU WMC SEO
St. Jude Medical
Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America
For GSW, 2013 was one of the most dynamic years in the agency’s history, marked by major milestones such as the merger with Blue Diesel, creation of a new brand platform built on an extensively remodeled mission, and the development and launch of multiple health content technology products.
According to president Joe Daley, it was a year in which GSW formally restructured its strategy, creativity, and technology disciplines and recruited new talent to accelerate the agency’s vision to become the healthcare communications leader in building human connections. “The remarkable transformation of healthcare taking place right now requires a realignment of how, when, and where brands connect directly to the people impacted at every touch point of their healthcare journey,” Daley says. “In 2013, we made aggressive moves to complement our talent base with new people, capabilities, services, and now products, all tightly focused on driving expanded value for our clients.”
The Year’s Accomplishments
2013 was a year for bringing the agency’s new vision and mission to life, highlighted by development of the GSW brand story, philosophy, and platform. “It was a priority for us to reflect on our history, evaluate the changing landscape in the market, and construct the right components that would represent who we’ve grown to become and how that position will help our clients’ brands succeed in a hypercompetitive landscape,” Daley says. As a result, the agency’s “Speak People” philosophy was born, leveraging the power of connecting audiences, experiences, and markets that inspire and empower people to make healthier choices. This has become GSW’s proprietary approach to enriching the conversation between people and healthcare. According to agency leaders, the new brand platform and capability set is gaining traction in the marketplace, evidenced by heightened new business activity in the fourth quarter.
On the new business front, the agency won 19 new assignments, including agency of record and project-based work from new and existing clients. One of the biggest achievements for GSW’s Columbus office was successfully launching Biogen Idec’s multiple sclerosis blockbuster, Tecfidera, referred to by one analyst as the “mother of all launches.”
A major highlight for the agency’s New York office was significant growth with Amgen, as GSW was named global professional agency of record for several brands: brodalumab for psoriasis and digital AOR for Amgen’s Cardiovascular Franchise, including the heart failure drug ivabradine and AMG 145. Columbus added the osteoporosis drug romosozumab to existing work as professional AOR for Prolia.
Several new clients were added to the roster in 2013, including from the New York office: the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation tapped the agency to develop video and written materials for its fundraising initiatives resulting in the Type None campaign, which received early award recognition; and Zeltiq for its CoolSculpting device for consumers. In the Columbus office, AOR assignments were awarded from Alcon and Amedra Pharmaceuticals. Pocket Protein was added to the roster for consumer marketing in the health and wellness space, and St. Jude Medical for a direct-to-patient marketing assignment for a neuromodulation device used to treat chronic back pain.
GSW continued to grow organic business by adding new work in the New York office with long-standing client Lilly for the oncology drugs necitumumab and ramucirumab. Columbus added work with Elanco, the animal health division of Lilly; Baxter for its anesthesia portfolio including Suprane; and with several projects for Cardinal Health, one of the world’s largest healthcare supply chain manufacturers. In Canada, the team added new clients in Merck, Gilead, and Celgene and new brands with existing clients Novartis and Pfizer.
A foundational component of GSW’s growth engine was implementation of innovation as a discipline across geographies. Under the leadership of Leigh Householder, who became chief innovation officer, GSW provided clients with tangible tools and workshops such as What Could Be Days, proactive explorations on how key trends are likely to affect specific markets, brands, and franchises. The GSW innovation discipline is delivering digital, marketing, consumer, and healthcare trend reports through its proprietary web portal Health Experience Project (HxP), which has now drawn more than 7,000 visitors (and contributed to GSW’s top 1 percent rank of content consumed on SlideShare).
iQ, GSW’s experimentation lab, continues to commercialize products that are deployed to more than 50 brands in 20 countries across 25 companies, including Lilly, Merck, Amgen, Takeda, Shire, Johnson & Johnson, and Gilead. Products are focused around four key areas: Tradeshow (Rival, 3D booth), Rep Tools (fileShare, Mercury, Align), Analytics (Scout), and Patient Education (Fluent). Two of the most significant launches from 2013 include iQ.3D Booth, an immersive application that leverages a trade show booth into a vivid virtual on line experience; and Mercury 3, a platform that allows reps to deliver face-to-face, e-detail, remote, and group presentations across multiple communication channels, all from their iPad or Windows 8 compatible tablet.
GSW also garnered honors from the CLIOs, Globals, ADDYs, Trailblazer Awards, MM&M, Aspids, and the top honor for the Best Video Submission Award from Med Ad News for “Hello, Siri!”
Structure And Services
Under the continued leadership of Daley and Bruce Rooke, global chief creativity officer, GSW continues to strengthen its core leadership structure to deliver on its mission. In addition to leading creative, Rooke has taken on a deeper role, becoming the key architect of a new creativity model that brings together experience planning, storytelling, the innovation discipline, traditional creative, and technology to deliver on the agency’s mission.
Daley added a key member to his leadership team earlier this year, when GSW announced that Marci Piasecki, former regional director of McCann Health North America, would join the agency as president of GSW East, overseeing GSW’s rapidly expanding client base in both the New York and Newtown offices. She was also named managing director of inVentiv Health Communications’ (iHC) Media 360 and Creative Studios. In this capacity, she is overseeing the media and production groups that support GSW and inVentiv Health. “Adding Marci to our GSW family is one of the most significant highlights for us in 2013,” Daley says. “Not only is she a skilled industry veteran who possesses all the leadership characteristics that we value, but her passion, energy, and style is what inspires creative people and propels brands to success.”
GSW’s Columbus-based headquarters continues to be led by Dan Smith, president of GSW West, with creative headed by Dave Sonderman, executive VP/ECD. One of the key new hires recently announced was German Dziebel as executive VP, director of strategy. Dziebel, an internationally renowned business anthropologist and author of The Genius of Kinship, was brought on to apply his expertise in human behavior, culture, and brand strategy and to be a partner to Rooke in constructing the new creativity model.
In New York, spectacular business development accomplishments later in the year set the stage for a stellar 2014. One of the many dynamics involved in that resurgence was the promotion of Susan Perlbachs to executive VP, executive director, after the departure of Tammy Fischer. The account services team bolstered its leadership with the addition of Kevin King, executive VP, general manager, who leads client management, along with continued creative leadership from NicCapanear, executive VP/executive creator director.
In Newtown, GSW has been born anew from a talented legacy base that included both Blue Diesel and inVentiv Health Communications. GSW Newtown continues rapid development and growth under the leadership of Kate Lontchar, senior VP, managing director, and Irene Black, senior VP/creative director.
According to Piasecki, who is overseeing the East Coast region, the talent and chemistry could not be stronger. “I’ve always admired the fearlessness of GSW from afar and now that I’m up close and personal with these individuals, I can confidently say that we are positioned to take our clients’ brands to a place they haven’t been before, and I am incredibly energized and excited by that,” she says.
In Canada, the expertise and leadership of Jeff Simbrow, president of inVentiv Health Canada, and Lysa Shaw, president of GSW Canada, continues to fuel growth for that office. A key new hire in 2013 was the addition of Alistair Bruyns, VP/operations and digital solutions, while creative continues to be led by Susie Curry, VP/creative director.
GSW is leading a number of U.S. and global launches for breakthrough brands this year. Agency executives will continue to invest in and connect specialized talent to address changing client needs. “Our focus will remain intent on creating products and platforms that strengthen our capability to innovate and iterate with pace,” Daley says.
The iQ group will advance three products in the pipeline for 2014. Launching in 2014, the GSW University will offer training courses and professional development to its employees, ensuring the agency remains on the cutting edge of “possible.” Clearly putting the Speak People philosophy into practice for clients will continue to be a key driver. At the forefront of that philosophy is the delivery of tools and means that open the door for clients to novel approaches that deepen customer relationships and improve outcomes.
The agency continues to actively support many charitable and philanthropic causes at the corporate and individual levels. The agency continues its pro bono work with organizations such as the March of Dimes, Mental Health America, and the Memorial Tournament. GSW contributes to many local charities including Mid-Ohio Foodbank, Race for the Cure, and Caring and Sharing, a program that helps connect sponsors with families in need over the holidays. Agency executives also serve on key steering committees that provide professional guidance to several up-and-coming entrepreneurial companies in the Midwest.
The agency’s holiday initiative, Merry Meltdown, a game application developed internally, invited employees and clients to melt virtual snowflakes, with game scores translated into funds to build a fresh water well in a Ghana village. As a result, the agency contributed several thousand dollars to water.org to provide a lifetime of healthy water for so many in need.