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    July 09, 2024 | Posted by: Jeff Fischer


    The Power of Content as Media

    In January 2023, PHM launched its first ever Entertainment and Content Marketing Practice, enabling the development of industry-leading entertainment marketing programs on behalf of our clients. This practice takes a disruptive new approach to health media, grounded in telling stories that resonate deeply with audiences and providing opportunities for brands to add value for consumers.

    From PHM’s Head of Content, Jeff Fischer, here’s an inside look at this one-of-a-kind practice and how PHM’s spirit of reimagination is exemplified in ViiV Healthcare’s recent partnership with RuPaul’s Drag Race.

    The modern consumer is savvier than ever. They expect targeted and relevant experiences delivered across mediums, nowhere better reflected than within advertising. Targeted advertising that rings false, heavy handed, or overly repetitive not only turns off a consumer, it can become meme worthy. They expect more from their products. They expect more from their entertainment. And they certainly expect more from their advertising.

    Furthermore, as health marketers, we know that patients don’t think about themselves through the lens of their condition—instead, their condition exists within the complexity of their own lives and myriad intersectional identities.

    In an increasingly crowded marketplace powered by sophisticated consumers, we have to speak to audiences authentically, with respect for their lived experiences adjacent to their health conditions.  With these ideals in mind, the Entertainment and Content Marketing Practice at PHM was born.

    Building a Content Practice

    Building on a decades-long foundation of innovative entertainment and content marketing at Publicis Groupe and PHM’s legacy as first-movers in the marketplace, we embarked on a first in pharma—a dedicated Entertainment and Content Marketing practice with a mission to make healthcare media more innovative, more impactful and better able to make cultural connections with consumers.

    As marketers looking for new ways to engage, we allow brands to extend their value beyond traditional advertising through experiences relevant to consumer interests. We[JF1]  do this by supporting communities through content in a way that establishes meaningful, personal connections while also being emotionally engaging, giving consumers value in exchange for their time.

    Traditional advertising is an important component of every media plan, but, by its very nature, it is inherently disruptive to consumers. We seek to create experiences that consumers choose to opt into because it is something they would have sought out regardless, and a brand just so happens to be the mechanism through which it was brought to life.

    Our Role in a Media Strategy

    The Entertainment and Content Marketing Practice is an embedded function at PHM. We work in tandem with other capabilities at the organization to create integrated strategies that complement the work our clients are already doing.

    Traditional media plans clearly define the role of Digital, Television, Out-of-Home, etc. within a campaign and we do the same for Entertainment and Content. We sit with our Strategy and Investment teammates as they build out client strategies, and we apply the same level of articulation and development to this channel as we do to every component of a strong, strategic plan. From a Creative standpoint, we need to speak in a similar tone and with the same nuance as the client’s branded advertising already does. All of the work we do is in service of complementing and amplifying the brand’s core messaging.

    The Proof: RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 16 and ViiV Healthcare

    This approach was exemplified in PrEPare for the RuVolution, our recent campaign on behalf of ViiV Healthcare and in partnership with Paramount Advertising.

    To launch “the most unpharma pharma campaign” in history, we created a holistic alignment between ViiV Healthcare, the only pharmaceutical company 100% dedicated to people affected by HIV and AIDS, and RPDR’s Season 16 universe. ViiV’s long-acting injectable PrEP drug APRETUDE served as the inspiration for the “get prepped” thematic that was woven throughout integrated campaign programming, including lead-in content such as “Glam Slam” (a pre-show competition), the beloved “RuVeal” contestant livestream, and a TikTok countdown to deliver fan excitement. RPDR celebrities and press received press mailer boxes containing exclusive merch and messaging inviting them to a massive Drag Fashion Show — the largest premiere event in franchise herstory. In season, the miniseries Whatcha PrEPinhosted by resident judge Michelle Visage offered unique value add to viewers while integrating the important message of PrEP options available. In a complex category such as PrEP, RPDR served as a powerful megaphone to connect with communities by aligning with radically joyful, queer content experiences starring our favorite Queens to encourage those who could benefit from HIV prevention to “Get Prepped.”

    Thanks to this truly “RuVolutionary” campaign, we engaged millions of viewers within the best rated season in over a decade. Every aspect of the campaign’s creative execution was planned with the purpose of adding real, felt value for RPDR audiences while raising awareness of HIV prevention and PrEP. This campaign garnered over 226 million impressions on social, with engagement through the roof for the target audience.. The continued relevance of this show among our target audience combined with never-before-seen content created a platform for ViiV Healthcare to share lifesaving, medically accurate information directly to those who need it most.

    This is the type of work that exemplifies the Entertainment and Content practice—culturally relevant, impactful, noteworthy work. We enable our clients to speak to the core of their target audiences and with every campaign, we push the boundaries of what health marketers can do.

    Connect with Jeff on LinkedIn.

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    #content#strategy#thought leadership