Trendspotting: Omron, Zigy, Abbott India build powerful relationship stories with subtle brand integrations

Communication for pharma brands or platforms has transitioned from more direct, problem-solving format to enjoying life and exploring the unexplored facets of life

e4m by Sarmistha Neogy
Published: Oct 5, 2015 8:30 AM  | 6 min read
Trendspotting: Omron, Zigy, Abbott India build powerful relationship stories with subtle brand integrations

From Omron to Zigy and Abbott India, today pharma brands or platforms dealing with medicines are getting innovative in their story telling. From more on-the-face ads, we are seeing a trend of building powerful stories around ‘relationships’ by subtly integrating the brand in the story line.

According to Ronnie Wadia, Senior Partner and Creative Director at Alok Nanda & Co, “The big shift in pharma communication over the years is moving from a ‘problem-solution’ platform to a larger, more sustainable platform of ‘celebrating life’ – where the product/pharma company plays the role of an enabler. Pharma communication has moved from establishing a strong ‘product connect’ to establishing an even stronger ‘emotional connect’ – which leaves a greater impact on the consumer.”


Medical equipment brand Omron has released a new ad film to promote their range of blood pressure monitors. Conceptualised by Dentsu Marcom, the film tells the story of a daughter and mother, who switch their roles and the daughter eventually ends up becoming her amma who even goes to the extent of looking for a groom for her widowed mother.”

Talking about the creative insight, Titus Upputuru, National Creative Director - Dentsu Marcom explained, “Parents start behaving like children as they grow old. Their bodies become weaker. Mentally, they become more anxious. Children who are concerned about their parents tend to mother them. This is the insight that we worked with.”

Abbott India:

The new film conceptualised by Ogilvy & Mather for Abbott India shows the benefits of good health and enjoying life to the fullest, no matter how old you are.

Commenting on the insight behind the new commercial, Varsha Chainani, Director, Public Affairs, Abbott India said, “In India the relationship between the grandmother and her grandson is very special. We used the charm of this relationship to create the first TV ad for the Abbott corporate brand in India. We wanted to use Indian storytelling to illustrate Abbott’s mission – helping people live the best and fullest lives they can, through better health. By doing this, we hope to inspire people in India to think about what matters most to them and to motivate them to live healthily.”

The film is currently running on television as well as on online channels like YouTube.


Last month,, an online market place for medicines and healthcare products launched a new TVC which shows the beautiful bonding between a mother-in-law and daughter-in-law, in spite of the latter being divorced from her son. This portrayal is unique and different because be it in films, serials or ads, these two characters have always been depicted as enemies, when in reality, the relationship could be deeper. With this campaign, the brand stands out and creates a space in the minds of the viewers. The brief given to Soho Square was to launch, as a first of its kind online marketplace for medicines and healthcare products that connects consumers to chemists and druggists.

Highlighting the creative strategy, Ganga Ganapathi Poovaiah, Head of Office, Soho Square, Bangalore pointed, “Today relationships have undergone drastic change. They have moved beyond the traditional relationships. The ad highlights that relationships or associations cannot come to an end, with the end of just one relationship. Like in this film, the girl is divorced, but her relationship with her mother-in-law has not ended along with it. The brand tells people to take responsibility because the rationale behind this is - One feels most helpless and weak when one is unwell. Helping our loved ones to bounce back in their life or gain back a quality life is our responsibility.”

What stands out in the communications?

Commenting on what stands out in these communications, Wadia from Alok Nanda cited, “Family relationships play a powerful role in Indian households, and each of the commercials has woven a powerful story around relationships (daughter-in-law – mother-in-law, mother - daughter, grandma – grandson), using relationships as an ‘emotional hook’ to engage the viewer.  The characters in all three commercials are perfectly cast, and play out their roles really well. The brand is subtly woven into the storyline.  For me, the Omron commercial really stood out in terms of its storyline.”

He added, “Through a strong narrative and by sensitively dealing with human emotions, the commercials allowed the viewer to engage with the brands in a memorable way – without hard-selling the company/product that they were advertising, and more importantly, touching a chord with a viewer. The power of a strong narrative cannot be underestimated in advertising and these commercials have proven this.”

Suresh Eriyat (Founder and Creative Director – Eeksaurus) elaborated, “I liked the general approach of all the three films. All are very well produced cinematically . I liked the Zigy one the most since it touched upon a bit unconventional human relationship premise. For me it threw light on the possibility of a progressive society (considering the kind of regressive things that we are hearing every day in our country nowadays) where institutionalized marriage and the general conventions that come with it like Saas Bahu sort of clichés are completely ignored!! I liked that.”

Talking about the Omron film, he feels that the mom- daughter flipped personality is a good idea to start with, but as a film, it is unnecessarily stretched according to him. “At some point I even felt that the daughter is suffering from some dreaded disease hence she is getting her mother married to that man, the way she speaks to her mother at a certain point felt like that. Overall it got a bit too stretched. The Abbott film with the grandmother and the kid could've been very well done as an animation film. It would have gathered much better flight of emotion than the current live action one. I think caricaturing the characters in real life makes it a bit contrived. This one felt like that a bit because both the actors are portrayed a bit like caricatures. The storyline is quite nice though,” he said.

Eriyat further pointed out that, “Overall medicine brands are doing very interesting films. Quite nice space all these films belong to-very human and simple. Earlier we used to see a lot of in your face ads for medicine products. This is a welcome trend. The cynic in me raised this doubt though… hope the huge ad budgets don't make these medicines too expensive for the end users!”

Poovaiah from Soho Square explained that, “In earlier pharma ads, the only emotional connect, which one could have was with the doctor. No one thought of a meaningful or even considered that there could be a relationship between the consumer and the pharmacist. But in the Zigy ad, this is seen because the brand wanted to project itself not as a transactional brand, but as an emotional brand.”

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