Making a land grab

Here’s a scary thought.

Coke isn’t actually the real thing.

It’s not even happiness.

And how about this:

People are loving lots of things, only one of them is MacDonalds.

You can travel yourself interesting with Thomson holidays or even Thomas Cook.

And you could probably find a supermarket where you’re thinking every little helps and find yourself in Sainsbury’s when you’re thinking it.

The thing about generic claims is, it works if you’re the market leader. If you’re not, then at least be the first to say it. Make a land grab.

I have spent many years listening to creative directors and clients say we want to own this or own that. Some things you can own, some things well….good luck.

We want to own the colour blue.


We want to own the weekend.

We want to own breakfast.

We want to own the 11 o’clock snack break.

It’s the kind of bullshit we in advertising love to spout, it sounds big and ambitious and it gets consumer clients brains tingling with thoughts of world domination. Own the emotional space and you own the category.

But in pharma, unsurprisingly, we are so used to actually having something to say to differentiate the drug, no matter how detailed, we have lost the art of the generic land grab.

Or perhaps we never developed it. We see it as flimsy and unsubstantial.

Just because we can’t exclusively own something like fast efficacy, does that mean your campaign can’t say it and thereby own fast efficacy and the emotional real-estate?

And I don’t mean just saying it, because saying it can only get you so far. I mean making it your own through creativity. (what else?)

I have worked on many accounts where we decided we couldn’t really make a legitimately own-able space ours because someone had beaten us to it.

What could be more French than Citroen?

Well, Renault apparently.

Look at the Simponi work that won Gold at Cannes this year from McCann Sydney. That is a campaign that now owns the idea of once a month dosage that you hardly notice. Any other drug coming on to the market with the same efficacy trying to occupy that territory is going to be hard pushed to compete, not just in core claims but in the HCP’s head, which is the most important media of all.

If you do it well and be the first you can pretty much ‘own’ any generic claim.

Which is why I have decided to ‘own’ the lightweight short pharma-creative blog.


(BTW you can follow my tweets at @Ollyc47)

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