Short List
CategoryC04. Education & Services aimed at Healthcare Professionals
Entrant Company McCANN HEALTH JAPAN Tokyo, JAPAN
Advertising Agency McCANN HEALTH JAPAN Tokyo, JAPAN


Name Company Position
Adam Weiss Mccann Health Japan Exective Creative Director
Hajime Nakazawa Mccann Health Japan Creative Director
Misuzu Inoue Mccann Health Japan Art Director
Tomoyuki Chikada Mccann Health Japan Art Director
Masahiro Sasaki Mccann Health Japan Art Director
Yusuke Takeda Mccann Health Japan Designer
Grant Foster Mccann Health Japan Senior Planner
Kotaro Miyagi Mccann Health Japan Engagement Planner
Takuya Miyatake Mccann Health Japan Account Director
Mari Ishikawa Mccann Health Japan Account Executive

The Campaign

Eli Lilly Japan runs more than 10,000 “lunch & learn” meetings every year—by far, their predominant vehicle for product promotion. However, doctors tend to be far more interested in the “lunch” than the “learn”. As pharmaceutical manufacturers seek to get ahead of the digital curve, the “Virtual Waiting Room” rectifies this by redefining the role and value of medical representatives. Run entirely from the MR’s iPad, the Virtual Waiting Room replaces the repetitive, linear, hard-sell powerpoint presentation with an interactive, product-unbranded platform that builds relationships with prescribers and establishes the MR’s credibility in a way that could never be achieved before. Now, the doctor dictates the content and direction of the meeting. He or she chooses the patient, reviewing the chart, and debates the proper course of treatment based on “slice of life” videos. Essentially, it’s a vast “choose your own adventure” controlled by the doctor and moderated by the MR, with no mention of product until the follow-up meeting. Piloted with Eli Lilly's orthopedic portfolio, the program is rapidly being rolled out across all therapeutic areas, and is being considered for a global rollout as well.

The Brief

The goal of the Virtual Waiting Room is to put the 'learn' back into the lunch & learn meeting. Not only did powerpoint presentations underwhelm doctors, they also seriously damaged MR motivation. So an important secondary goal was to re-engage the enthusiasm of the sales force itself.

Creative Execution

The Virtual Waiting Room recreates and enhances the environment in which the doctor operates. First, the doctor selects one of the patients in the Virtual Waiting Room. Each patient is a candidate for osteoporosis treatment. When selected, the patient stands up, and the doctor views her medical chart. In real life, the information on the medical chart isn't enough. So the Virtual Waiting Room provides a variety of 'slice of life' videos for each patient. The doctor is then asked an open-ended question intended to spur discussion. For example, how much does your measurement of the patient's height influence your treatment decision? KOL videos enrich the discussion. With the MR as navigator and moderator, the doctor can move freely from video to video, question to question, or patient to patient within the Virtual Waiting Room. There is no mention of product until a follow-up visit by the MR.

Because this platform is new, it's hard to measure effectiveness using traditional metrics. At this time, what we have is overwhelmingly positive feedback from doctors and MRs, and a decision at Lilly to roll out the program across therapeutic areas. Doctors: ・This is totally new and different from the traditional lunch & learn.' ・I appreciate that Lilly's willing to try something new. I'm sure that other makers will follow.' ・Because the information was neutral (unbranded), it was easier to me to express my point of view.' ・I'd like to see this format used for other therapeutic areas.' MRs: ・I was surprised because a doctor who never speaks spoke up.' ・This format helped me to identify the key person among the staff.' ・This is totally different from before. More of the doctors were actually interested in what I was saying.'

The most crucial part of the planning was identifying that the existing meeting dynamic was broken, and that a band-aid wasn't going to fix it. We conducted a 2-day kabuki-themed workshop in an underground nightclub with key stakeholders and management of Eli Lilly Japan together with film directors, photographers, and graffiti artists from India to Norway. This meeting yielded the major insight that drove the creation of the Virtual Waiting Room: Japanese doctors make decisions and give orders as a way of life. So the last thing they want is a 20-something lecturing them on medicine. As a consequence, the brief was simple: Reconceive and the product presentation meeting from the ground up, throwing away all premises, to give the doctor control of the experience.


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