Medical Marketing & Media
John Diaz, VP/Creative Director
I wanted to title this article, When Animals Attack. Or more appropriately, When Animals Show Up as Metaphors for “Tough, Yet Gentle” Concepts.
Mining the tried and true conceptual vein of animals as metaphor to express the holy grail of product attributes–high efficacy and tolerability–makes sense.
Animals can elicit a number of emotions at the same time, ie, fear and affection. As a creative solution, what’s not to like? It has both strategic relevance and great branding potential.
Problem is, it’s been done… a lot. So, making a common concept approach memorable presents a real challenge.
Most often a uniquely imaginative creative execution will determine whether it becomes an instant, iconic brand image, or an “I’ve seen it before” cliché.
Here are some examples from the last few years that use the same approach to “tough, yet gentle” with, for me, varying degrees of effectiveness.
(To view samples, please download article)
Putting a convincing human smile on an otherwise menacing bear is brilliantly simple and direct. I find myself leaning closer to the ad to hear what he might be saying to me. The “kinder” language in the headline is a better way of saying “gentle” and perfectly complements the smile.
The unadorned shot of the lion posed casually on the couch gives this ad a subtle and elegant visual tone that, to me, moves beyond cliché. Unfortunately, the rather pedestrian copy comes up short.
The relatively uninspired art direction here is saved by a more intriguing headline that, even though a bit, um…horsey, moves beyond the “see and say” trap so common to this approach.
On a certain level this concept has logic, but there is something about the execution that leaves me with a feeling of dread. I get the tiger and the doctor as partners, but the cold, impersonal look here makes it seem like they are patrolling a prison hospital on lockdown. Not sure if the message and the execution are working together.
Cute little animal casting the shadow of big, strong animal. Remind you of anything? Well, maybe, but for me it works. The simple rhythm of the words matched with a beautifully realized visual conveys the message clearly and memorably.