CAN AdvertisingThe 2011 Advertising Awards finalist list features five names making their Awards debut: CAN Advertising, eBee Health, inventive Health Communications, Lime and OPEN Health. CAN Advertising has received its first nomination in the International Core Campaign (Craft) category for their work on Scalp Psoriasis for LEO Pharma. We spoke to Lisa Dodd and Clare Chamberlain about the creative execution and delivery of the global campaign.

CAN Advertising was founded two years ago by Lisa Dodd and Clare Chamberlain. Both have strong backgrounds in the pharmaceutical marketing industry – the pair met at Adventis, where Clare was a Strategic Planner and Lisa Client Services Director. The aim was to develop an agency that would be unique, "we wanted to set up something that would be very different in the advertising world," says Lisa.

CAN Advertising From l-r: Piotr Hennig, Creative Director; Clare Chamberlain, Director (responsible for strategic planning); Lisa Dodd, Director (responsible for client service)The dream came true two years ago with the launch of CAN Advertising "We opened our doors on March 1st two years ago, and we got our first major account with LEO Pharma that May. It was hard work, but we've had a good couple of years!"

CAN Advertising is nominated in the International Core Campaign category for the Scalp Psoriasis/Xamiol campaign for LEO Pharma.

The creative motivation for the campaign comes from the feedback of patients. "We really learned from the patient perspective what it's like to have scalp psoriasis, how they feel about this disease and its symptoms".

The images used were shocking but showed that we really understood the condition

Scalp psoriasis symptoms include intense itching and a flaking scalp, and one of the key findings of the market research CAN Advertising conducted was the regional variation in the patient's perception of the condition. Respondents in the US tended to be more embarrassed by the condition and talked about problems caused by attempts to ignore the symptoms. "You don't want to show any weakness in your job, so you can't be scratching your head during a meeting but you might lose concentration in the meeting because you're obsessed by the desire to scratch". While embarrassment was still an issue in Paris, there was also a more defiant attitude. "It was more, 'well, people have a problem if they can't deal with me having a bit of scalp psoriasis'," Clare reports.

The standout imagery in the CAN Advertising nomination shows an anguished woman with dozens of hands clawing at her scalp, something that really conveys some of the discomfort of the condition. CAN retained strong creative control throughout to ensure the campaign fully communicated the experience of patients. "We went back to the very beginning, making sure that we sourced the right models, and getting their expressions right, so that the images that were shocking but showed that we really understood the condition. Because of that, the campaign is very hard-hitting and provokes a response".


Scalp Psoriasis campaign by CAN Advertising

CAN Advertising's involvement wasn't limited to the creative side. They also led the campaign delivery, from developing marketing tools to offering workshops for LEO Pharma's product managers. Clare explains, "we contacted every product manager involved in launching and marketing Xamiol, and involved them through questionnaires. We included as many people as we could. We had the key markets like France, the UK, and the US, and also involved those with less experience, like the smaller markets out in Southeast Asia, who are more likely to take up every piece of information and help they can.

It is very, very tricky to meet everybody's expectations, that's why we tried to manage that whole process

"We presented the campaign, and all the materials, through a day of workshops to the entire LEO dermatology marketing team, in Copenhagen a year ago. We presented and ran the sessions for them for over 100 marketing managers and product managers."

"It is very, very tricky to meet everybody's expectations," Lisa says, "and that's why we tried to manage that whole process, to ensure that people did receive the imagery well, that they were actually going to use it and it wasn't going to be something they were stuck with rather than something they wanted to use. We certainly got a really positive reaction!" The dermatology marketing team responded to CAN Advertising's work in the best possible way, with a spontaneous round of applause.

CAN Advertising are understandably thrilled about their Advertising Award nomination. "We're really proud and we're really, really excited! It finishes up a great campaign for us, because we love it - we love the imagery, and we're really proud to be nominated."

With thanks to Lisa Dodd and Clare Chamberlain of CAN Advertising. Like CAN Advertising on Facebook for more information.