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Pharma & healthcare

Pharma & healthcare covers both pharmaceutical marketing (for example, the launch of a new medicine) and broader healthcare work (for example, over-the-counter drugs and wellness products). Both are heavily regulated in many markets. Pharma marketing often targets medical professionals; in the US, pharma companies may also market prescription drugs direct-to-consumer. Pharma and healthcare is considered a major advertising growth sector as populations age.

Key Reading

Important papers from across the Warc database

This article examines how brands can help consumers make use of the personal data available to them to manage their health and wellbeing. It argues that having access to more personal health information helps people more fully understand the risks and rewards of their daily behaviours.
Why behavioural economics can help people adhere to medical advice more consistently.
A summary of market research on how patients experience a disease or condition.
Why pharma brands need to take a more targeted approach in marketing to healthcare providers.

Case Study

This case study explains how Philips, the electronics giant, promoted its SimplyGo oxygen device in the US by working with respiratory illness sufferers to create an inspiring short film which was distributed primarily through paid social media.

Case Study

This case study explores how Passage du Desir, a company focused on the sustainable development of a couple, launched a campaign in France to promote its sexual stimulating treatment 'Chronoerect'.

Case Study

This case study describes how the Baheya Women's Cancer Hospital in Egypt raised awareness and donations during Ramadan by posting its message on dessert boxes.

Case Study

This case study describes how Bupa, a private healthcare company, improved its door drop campaigns for care homes in the UK.

Case Study

This case study explains how Moskito Guard, a DEET-free insect repellent, used a multi-channel campaign to create awareness of the new product in the UK.

Case Study

This case study shows how Canesten, a vaginal medication brand, successfully overturned its declining sales in Hong Kong by creating an original web series that allowed women to learn and talk about vaginal yeast infections.
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This paper explores personal medical devices, such as insulin pens, inhalers and auto-injectors, and the obstacles they need to overcome in order to be successfully implemented.


This article examines how Shire, a pharmaceuticals company, bucked the trend in Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) advertising with a playful TV spot for its Xiidra drug.


This paper explores how a recent shift towards consumerism and patient empowerment has encouraged companies to reassess the role and structure of patient support programs.


This event report outlines how the Internet of Things (IoT) will dramatically impact the healthcare sector.


This Company Profile from Euromonitor provides key details and analysis of Bayer, the pharmaceuticals company, following its acquisition of Merck & Co Inc's consumer health portfolio.

Research Paper

This article describes how Boehringer Ingelheim (BI), the pharma company, wanted greater understanding of patients' sentiments when faced with life-threatening disease in the USA, UK, France, Italy and Japan.
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  1. Article

    This case study looks at the Australian vitamin brand Blackmores and its campaign that changed the way consumers saw their health, and reclaimed its position as a thought leader.

  2. Article

    This article explores how Bupa, the multinational healthcare company, built a content marketing portal specifically targeted at Australia's mothers to build engagement with the brand and subsequently increase sales.

  3. Article

    This article argues that pharma should, as an industry, begin to change its thinking on social media use in the marketing mix from a tool of promotion to a tool of engagement.

  4. Article

    This article demonstrates how advertisers can remove the emotional barriers that affect decision-making and encourage behaviour change that will promote better health.

  5. Article

    This article considers the need to develop a patient-centric added-value marketing approach in healthcare, taking in therefore the patient's wider needs to retain meaningful relationships.

  6. Article

    This trend report examines the major trends set to shape the global advertising landscape in 2016, covering technology, brand and marketing, food and drink, culture, travel, beauty, retail, health, lifestyle and luxury.

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