A Unique Bond

by Burson Cohn Wolfe for Boehringer Ingelheim

Summary of work

Dislike for pharma has never been higher. As an industry leader operating in the much-maligned pharmaceutical sector, Boehringer Ingelheim (BI) had an urgent need – and opportunity – to shift the debate.

BI’s concern was that unyielding public antipathy towards ‘Big Pharma’ risked that the firm’s own pioneering work in human and animal health and its compassionate corporate ethos would be overlooked. It had to positively stand out in the sector, to challenge negative perceptions and to transform hostility into advocacy, ’A Unique Bond’ did just that.

A strategic social campaign that spanned five continents and 30 countries was only made possible by the digital-first approach undertaken by the client and agency team. It broke through the noise to champion the bond between a pet and its owner, and its positive effect on physical and mental well-being.

It transformed BI’s corporate reputation in the eyes of the public and internal stakeholders, whilst exceeding all targets. The campaign marked a decided shift in the public’s perception of BI, directly leading to a 1,053% increase in positive sentiment towards the brand amongst those with anti-pharma views.

Judges’ comments

Good and clear objectives supported by a thoughtful and well researched strategy, focused on how to measure not just outputs but also outcomes. With strong rationale behind the selection of a broad range of channels, the campaign was very successful.