YuzuYello, an IPG Health company
100 West 33rd Street, New York, NY 10001
- Account wins: 9
- Active business clients: 11
Brands by 2022 sales
- Brand-product accounts held: 22
- Products not yet approved/launched: 6
- Learning, access, and adherence solutions: 100%
- ADC Therapeutics
- Axsome Therapeutics
- Day One
- Exact Sciences
- Horizon Therapeutics
- NYC Health + Hospitals
- Agency of the Year, Category III
Leaders at YuzuYello like the taste of their citrus-flavored success. “Ah, the yuzu fruit,” they opine. “Chefs laud its refreshing flavor. Mystics use it to ward off illness. Some folks even drop it into their bathtubs. Why? Because nothing delivers a healthy dose of goodness quite like a yuzu!”
While “that’s well and good for citrus enthusiasts,” these marketers say they aren’t here “to discuss zesty marinades and magic hygiene rituals.”
“We’re here for a hard look at what the patient experience connoisseurs at YuzuYello bring to the table,” agency leaders say. “How have they fared in the last year? Were they able to serve up the same 40 percent revenue growth from 2021? We blew that number out of the bathwater.”
Leaders claim that in 2022, YuzuYello grew by 64 percent. “The recipe was, and remains, simple: we build brighter worlds for people who need them,” they say.
How does that recipe pan out in the real world? “When two out of three Black and Latino/a/x New Yorkers still hadn’t received a COVID vaccination, YuzuYello partnered with the city’s public healthcare network to build a solution,” executives say. “We put pens in the hands of Black and Latino/a/x writers and artists to craft an authentic campaign. Eleven languages and 66 million impressions later, we’d turned more than 165,000 unvaccinated arms into shields.”
As to how the agency’s ways of doing things serve clients, patients, and care circles, “When our clients need to design more intuitive, compassionate and helpful experiences, we guide the way,” executives say. “The evidence-based learning and behavioral models we implement lead to healthier outcomes. Patients learn faster, start treatment sooner, and stay on track longer.
“When individuals need to make complicated dosing regimens part of their routine, we walk them through it. When people living with advanced Parkinson’s disease don’t know how they’ll ever master a new medical device, we take it one step at a time. When the uninsured need a way to afford their medication, we point them in the right direction. And sometimes, the brighter world comes from someone feeling heard. A truth we understand better and better with every Inspiration Session we conduct.”
According to managers, the agency’s Patient Ambassador program, launched in 2021, “bore significant fruit last year. Our inspiration team of patient experience managers, program managers, and compliance directors catapulted this offering to new heights. This enabled us yuzulings and our client partners to draw inspiration from the people we design for.”
The program, which executives also call the “Inspiration Program,” starts with patient recruitment and testimonials, and then deploys one-on-one support experts to connect with patients and their care circles. “Then we conduct experiential co-creation sessions and sensory explorations, applying creative therapy techniques along the way to amplify the output. It all comes together to set expectations, stimulate imagination, and gather inspiration for our brands through a compliant, respectful and inclusive experience.”
YuzuYello leaders say clients are chiefly concerned with generating healthier patient outcomes. “But let’s be honest – sometimes we just need to advance a given project really, really quickly,” executives say. “Which is why we created The Squeeze. A week-long sprint designed to get the right people together, in the same physical room, to knock critical projects out. It’s one thing to talk about an ‘Agile Process.’ But until you’ve got an executive director sketching alongside a UX designer and an SVP passing coffee to a Gen Z, ‘agile’ is just a buzzword on a bingo card.”
With more projects, the agency added 60 percent more staff last year, executives say.
Structure and services
According to leaders, YuzuYello designs patient services that solve human problems; develops learning strategies grounded in behavior science, cognition and literacy; creates program identities that elevate brands; and promotes patient services to individuals and their care teams.
Services include learning strategy, experience design strategy, creative, account, integrated production, and editorial.
“Our learning strategists are certified health educators, MPHs and Ph.D.s,” executives say. “They blend behavior science with the art of learning design. They’re experts in health literacy, ensuring everything we create can be easily absorbed.”
The experience design strategists “engineer the moments and interactions that enable patients to get the most out of their treatment,” using insights and UX psychology to solve human problems.
Leaders call the creative team “an eccentric ensemble of screenwriters, journalists, illustrators, and artists. They’re obsessed with making every pixel and paragraph easy and alluring.”
Integrated producers are experts in agile project management, and account managers are trained in client experience design. Editors specialize in patient services and clinical terminology. And patient experience specialists partner with the agency’s compliance experts to find patients, build relationships and “get real stories out into the world,” executives say.
Like other IPG Health agencies and their return-to-office policies, YuzuYello leans into the network’s philosophy of flexibility, accountability, and trust. “Unlike other agencies and networks, we trust our employees to work with their teams to figure out what works best for themselves, their families and their clients,” executives say.
As far as the future is concerned, the agency plans to continue growing offerings like The Squeeze and Inspiration Sessions.
“And don’t even get us started on AI,” managers say. “We’re excited about the possibilities of AI art and copy generators. While many see this technology as a threat, we believe it will change the creative process rather than replace it. The field is far too nascent for us to give away our plans here. You’ll just have to have a human conversation with us if you want to learn more.
“What radical changes does the future hold for YuzuYello? Ideally, none. We intend to keep doing exactly what we’re doing – building brighter worlds for people who need them.”
As part of IPG Health, YuzuYello executives say they believe that equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) is more than a responsibility – “it’s a healthy obsession. That obsession drove us to help create something we call ‘inQ’ [Inclusion Quotient]. inQ doesn’t help us better understand people; it helps us better understand how people see themselves. It welcomes people in. It puts more seats around the table and finds more chairs if there aren’t enough. It’s not a box we check, it’s a business need. It’s what harmonizes a brand’s story with the audience’s voice. It’s not about being everything to everyone. It’s about inviting people to see themselves in what we create.
“‘inQ’ is evident in so much of what we create. Whenever possible, we’ve shifted from translating copy at the end of a project to now writing copy in native languages from a project’s outset. It leads to more authentic and respectful content that’s more likely to resonate.”
Leaders point to the agency’s COVID campaign as one example of “inQ” in action. “As the pandemic raged on, we noticed alarming vaccination disparities among underserved communities,” they state. “Through a co-creation model that involved Black and Latinx writers, artists, and community leaders, we created an authentically authored campaign to save lives. Executed in 11 languages, our posters, newspapers, and digital trucks were placed in all five boroughs. Our message showed up in barbershops, bus stops, back streets, subway stops, bodegas, and social media. ‘InQ’ demonstrated how authenticity can overcome hesitancy.”