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The Pulse of the Pharmaceutical Industry

Rebrandings, new offerings keep agencies busy

Written by: | | Dated: Saturday, April 20th, 2019


For various agencies featured in this annual report, 2018 and the beginning of 2019 were not business as usual but rather filled with rebrandings, reorganizations, and new offerings.

In June 2018, Intouch Solutions reorganized its offerings into Intouch Group. The entity comprises two separate creative shops, a joint venture with an Italian healthcare agency, a media agency, a technology and production services hub, and an analytics practice.

The creative shops are Intouch Solutions and Intouch Proto. The joint venture with Healthware International, which was established more than a year ago, is Intouch International. The full-service media buying company is Intouch Media. Intouch B2D is the technology and production services hub, and Intouch Analytics is a full-service analytics practice.

Management says Intouch Group provides “a flexible working model for clients and employees as the six affiliates work autonomously or in partnership with one another respectively.”

“Our clients have been asking for us to align our operations to reflect our vast expertise and depth of service offerings,” says Faruk Capan, CEO, Intouch Solutions. “We have achieved that goal with these changes, while maintaining our culture of collaboration and teamwork. Ultimately, this structure allows us to compete at a new level, and be seen as the powerhouse organization we are.”

Intouch CEO Faruk Capan

Capan says Intouch Group has taken steps to house each of its entities separately from Intouch Solutions. For example, Intouch Proto is mostly based in Chicago. Intouch International has an office in London.

Before making any of these changes, Intouch consulted with a group consisting of clients and vendor partners to get their feedback and advice. Their recommendations included making sure the Intouch entities were physically separated as well as keeping the Intouch name as part of the brand, Capan says.

While the Intouch name remains, the organization has undergone a brand refresh to reflect the new Intouch Group structure. “Using elements of the original Intouch Solutions logomark, the new visual identity system was designed to reflect the vibrant future of Intouch Group while honoring the successes of Intouch Solutions’ past,” Intouch executives say.

Despite the changes, Intouch remains dedicated to the life sciences vertical and its own digital roots. “Through Intouch Group, the organization will build upon its core capabilities, as well as gain the opportunity to expand its services over time,” management says.

“We are driven to be the go-to partner for full-service needs – now and in the future,” Capan says. “Intouch Group offers the advantages of a network’s size and scale, with the creative, innovative spirit of an independent. We continue to experience growth as an organization and we are excited about the opportunities Intouch Group represents for us.”

For Evoke, 2018 brought two events: the integration of San Francisco-based Giant Creative Strategy after its acquisition by parent Huntsworth; and the transformation from Evoke Group into Evoke.

The acquisition of Giant, a former Category III Agency of the Year, added a new level of growth to Evoke, agency executives say.

“Clients continue to look for opportunities to work with fewer agency partners on larger remits – consolidating business to those with proven and differentiated credentials and expertise in all key brand areas,” says Reid Connolly, CEO of Evoke Group. “Evoke has built our offering to accommodate this market shift and the addition of Giant adds an even more robust and differentiated HCP marketing offering to the group, as well as expanded geographic reach.”

Evoke Group CEO Reid Connolly

In August 2018, Evoke Group became Evoke.

“Over the last several years, we’ve built a group of some of the leading agencies in their respective spaces,” Connolly says. “More and more, a few industry trends have been reshaping how we’ve been going to market and how we engage with our clients. The healthcare market – how you market to consumers and professionals and payers; how earned media and paid media have made the healthcare market far more complex for clients to manage as well as giving downward pressure internally for pharma clients – has made a shift to working with fewer agencies with larger remits.”

Starting with Evoke Health, the largest agency within Evoke Group, the group built a number of specialist agencies “that are phenomenal at what they do but can also work across channels and across audiences,” Connolly says. “And what we’ve found over the last two years as we’ve been working with clients as they look for larger remits with fewer partners, we’ve found that we’ve been working with those clients far more as Evoke Group than we have as the sub-brands.”

Formalizing Evoke Group into Evoke created a more simplified and singular brand voice for the agency, Connolly says, adding, “Whether clients are interacting with us across consumer, professional, market access, PR, or media, in the U.S. or globally, they know Evoke is who they’re going to work with.”

FCB Health Network was busy launching new offerings in 2018: Area 23 on Hudson; Solve(d); FCB Health Brasil; and Studio Rx Productions.
Area 23 on Hudson was launched in September 2018. The agency is a realigned offering that combines Hudson Global’s medical communication expertise with Area 23’s comprehensive agency-of-record services and unrivaled creativity.

“We’re excited to infuse Hudson Global’s world-class clinical and technologically advanced offerings with Area 23’s bold innovation and creativity,” says Dana Maiman, President and CEO of FCB Health Network. “As FCB Health Network continues to grow, we are truly never finished addressing our clients’ constantly evolving challenges.”

Area 23 on Hudson is led by Jamie Cipriano and Michael Lieberman, Ph.D., with oversight from Area 23 Co-Managing Directors Renee Mellas and Tim Hawkey. Cipriano continues to serve in her role as Executive VP, while Lieberman expanded his role as Executive Director of Scientific Strategy/Medical Affairs at Area 23 with responsibility across the comprehensive medical team.

“Our clients spoke and we listened. Today, there seems to be much more of a blurred line between promotional medical education and agency-of-record assignments,” Mellas says. “More and more of our clients were looking for partners to travel with them on the early prelaunch journey, through launch and beyond. This new structure enables us to better meet their needs by infusing massive creativity with their critical med ed needs.”

In October 2018, Chief Commercial Officer Michael Guarino announced the launch of Solve(d), which enhances the evidence-based planning and execution of its clients’ healthcare marketing strategies and tactics. Solve(d) will help clients use Big Data to make better decisions, agency executives say.

“Sorting through the tremendous amounts of data and translating that complex information into actionable solutions is truly the next generation of Big Data,” Guarino says. “Solve(d) is our answer to using that data to make better, more informed decisions that communicate the brand narrative and help drive health behavior change.”

Solve(d) offers project, consulting and AOR services including marketing analytics, predictive modeling, media planning and buying, CRM strategy, data visualization, multidimensional segmentation, KOL mapping, and more. The offering comprises a diverse team of data scientists, data visualizers, business intelligence analysts, and media specialists whose diverse backgrounds uniquely position the offering to make data relevant, understandable and actionable.

“The vision for Solve(d) is to make data more human,” says Ken Beatty, FCB Health Network Chief Analytics Officer and Solve(d) Managing Director. “Our goal is to boost the effectiveness of healthcare marketing performance by improving interactions with data. Solve(d) fully integrates strategic insights, allowing us to seamlessly plan and execute engagement plans that deliver on the promises of data science.”

FCB Health Network launched FCB Health Brasil during August 2018, under the leadership of Aurélio Lopes, CEO of FCB Brasil and Chairman of FCB Latin America. Agency executives say the new offering will meet a variety of communications needs across Latin America, and will have a similar operating structure to the network’s other global healthcare centers of excellence. Working closely with the New-York-based FCB Health Network headquarters, FCB Health Brasil will provide access to best-in-class creative, strategic, medical, media, digital/technology and operational resources.

(from left) Diego Freitas, Aurelio Lopes, and Mauro Arruda

“Clients in Brazil – and Latin America as a whole – will be able to rely on the quality and world-class excellence in healthcare services that the FCB Health Network provides,” Lopes says. “We are very confident in this operation because brands – all brands, not just those related to health – are increasingly concerned with making a difference in people’s lives. As the seventh-largest healthcare market in the world, Brazil is key for all global healthcare and well-being brands.”

Lopes appointed Diego Freitas and Mauro Arruda to lead the new agency as Managing Directors. Freitas and Arruda joined the FCB Health Network from Havas Life São Paulo, where Freitas served as Executive VP and Executive Creative Director, and Arruda served as Chief Creative Officer and CEO.

Also in August, FCB Health Network launched Studio Rx Productions, the network’s new creative production studio.

Studio Rx Productions offers live action, animation and experiential services.

“This launch allows us to further marry our deep healthcare knowledge and connections with an essential specialization,” Maiman says. “We are never finished identifying new ways to better serve our clients.”

With its eclectic team of filmmakers, animators, designers, medical illustrators, creative technologists and experiential designers – combined with the latest industry innovations, such as augmented reality and motion graphics – management says Studio Rx Productions is the studio of the future.

Studio Rx Productions’ range of capabilities include live-action shooting, 360° filmmaking/digital capture, video and audio postproduction, medical animation, VFX, concept art, illustration, on-location video streaming, national video broadcasts, motion design, live event production, installation design, digital out-of-home, VR/AR/Mixed Reality and more.

“From concept to execution, we provide clients with an unmatched collaboration model that pairs some of the most talented production creatives in the world with content experts who live and breathe healthcare and pharma,” says Matthew Hall, Studio Rx Productions Director of Content Creation. “Not only does that allow us to work more quickly, but it affords us the opportunity to be more adventurous and to create more groundbreaking work.”

Prior to forming the stand-alone agency, the Studio Rx Productions team produced numerous VR, AR and virtual production projects for a variety of FCB Health Network campaigns. From diving into the human body to explore bone metastases and uterine fibroids to conducting volumetric scanning of locations and actors during traditional video and photo shoots, Studio Rx Productions is on the cutting edge of innovation.

Studio Rx Productions collaborated with Area 23 on Hudson to produce Parkinson’s House Call, the Manny Award winner for Best Experiential (for more about the award, see FCB Health Network’s profile).

Dudnyk President Christopher Tobias, PhD

But the “big” agencies were not the only ones making big changes. Category III Agency of the Year Dudnyk in March 2019 joined the Fishawack Group of Companies.

“By joining forces with Fishawack, Dudnyk will be able to offer clients an even stronger service offering, including expertise in additional verticals like scientific communications and medical education,” says Dudnyk President Christopher Tobias, PhD. “We are also excited to further expand our global capabilities, both commercially and medically, for our clients who operate on a scale outside of the U.S.”

“Dudnyk’s rare disease, launch, and creative expertise will add valuable depth of experience to our organization,” says Oliver Dennis, CEO of Fishawack. “We’re thrilled to have the Dudnyk team become part of the Fishawack Group.”

“The principals of Fishawack believe in a ‘client-centric’ approach to business, which is very much aligned with what has made Dudnyk unique, successful, and highly sought after in our industry,” says Dudnyk Chief Operations Officer Rick Sutliff. “We will continue to maintain our dedication to long-lasting client relationships and to producing some of the highest- quality work in our industry.”

Tobias, Sutliff, and the Dudnyk senior leadership team will continue to guide the agency in their current roles.

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