Creative Creative Works Market Research

5 of the most effective creative ads in the health & pharma sector


By Amy Houston, Senior Reporter

April 29, 2024 | 5 min read

Sponsored by:

What's this?

Sponsored content is created for and in partnership with an advertiser and produced by the Drum Studios team.

Find out more

As part of The Drum’s Health & Pharma Focus, we’re using insights from Kantar’s Marketplace, an automated market research platform, to look closer and creative trends and effectiveness in this huge category.

Thermal shot of Bodyform ad

AMV BBDO's ad for Libresse / AMV BBDO

When advertising in the health and pharma domain, there are often so many messages that brands need to get across to an audience – such as product benefits – that campaigns aren’t always the most enjoyable for viewers.

But with the use of humor, brand mascots or catchy slogans and audio, brands in this sector can creatively capture the attention of consumers.

It’s an ever-growing category with huge potential for advertisers. Here, we outline the companies that are creating bold work and explain what makes their campaigns stand out.

From Essity’s Tena and Bodyform products pushing boundaries to Colgate’s purpose-driven work, we’re deep-diving into why these ads have resonated and how other brands can get inspired by their approach.

Essity: ‘Periodsomnia’ by AMV BBDO

Essity-owned Libresse and its creative ad agency AMV BBDO have been disrupting this category for the past decade. Beforehand, the period care category was a very different place, full of airbrushed, hairless bodies and a weird blue liquid that was meant to represent menstrual blood.

With their now iconic campaigns, such as ‘Bloodnormal,’ ‘Viva la Vulva’ and ‘Periodsomnia,’ however, this partnership has been shifting the narrative with its lack of sugarcoating.

Sales of feminine hygiene products are up 17% in the past year – having recruited new shoppers (up 6%), thanks in particular to strong sales of wipes and washes.

Essity: ‘Keep Control’ by AMV BBDO

Another spot from this stellar partnership and this time it’s for Tena. What this ad does brilliantly is convert a message around an extremely sensitive topic but with humor. This approach takes guts from the client as it is a very fine line to get comedy in ads right, especially within the health category.

The serious message comes across, the brand is noted, but viewers also leave with a smile on their faces.

According to Kantar’s in-depth analysis, in the UK alone sales of men’s incontinence products have grown significantly ahead of the market average (up 22% versus 13% overall).

Colgate ‘Smile Stories’ by WPP

This campaign by WPP showcases Colgate’s almost 30-year impact in South Africa and is a testament to the brand’s commitment to oral health and education. By aiding 23 million schoolchildren over the years, Colgate has not only promoted the importance of regularly brushing teeth but has also effectively communicated its brand purpose.

Nurofen: ‘Smile Stories’ by McCann London

This clever TV ad for Nurofen by McCann London uses color to amplify the brand. Kantar’s global knowledge manager, Polly Wyn Jones, says: “By leveraging the recognizable tones of yellow, orange and red from the brand’s logo, the assets are dramatically woven into the spot and become part of the story.”

Set against a white backdrop, the use of color makes the ad distinctive and memorable and reinforces every part of the brand from start to finish.

“In Britain, sales of kids’ pain relief have seen a 3% decline year-on-year due to comparison with an exceptionally strong performance in 2022 when sales grew 34%,” explains Matthew Maxwell, business unit director at Kantar’s Worldpanel Health and Beauty. “Winter illnesses drive a significant proportion of sales each year, so it’s important for brands to be visible during this time, but lower levels of illness this year resulted in lower demand for the category and the brands within it.”

Panadol: ‘Delivery Man’ by Grey Group Singapore

Throughout this spot, the branding is front and center and portrays what the product is used for. With each message that appears on the screen, the viewer’s eyes are always drawn back to the Panadol logo.

“There’s a great use of audio throughout the ad,” adds Wyn Jones. “With each ping of a message being received, the audience can empathize with the protagonist.”

View the winners and emerging trends from Kantar’s annual Creative Effectiveness Awards.

Creative Creative Works Market Research

Content created with:


Kantar is the world’s leading marketing data and analytics business and an indispensable brand partner to the world’s top companies. We help brands to shape...

Find out more

More from Creative

View all


Industry insights

View all
Add your own content +