The Dispensary – issue 3

11 May, 2018. Welcome to the third edition of Virgo Health’s new, fortnightly round-up of inspiration. The Dispensary dispenses insights from a range of sectors: campaigns and news items which we believe have relevance for the healthcare industry.  If you haven’t yet opted-in to our emails but you would like to, you can do in a matter of seconds via this form.

Disruptive technologies set to stabilise soaring drug prices

A GlobalData report says that AI and blockchain could accelerate the drug development process and counteract the unsustainability of skyrocketing drug prices. There are currently over 100 companies applying AI to healthcare, with big names such as Microsoft, Amazon and IBM Watson paving the way. Google’s artificial intelligence group, DeepMind, also hit headlines this week when it trounced experts at a maze game after it learned to find its way around like a human. Scientists noticed that when they trained the AI to move through a landscape, it spontaneously developed electrical activity akin to that seen in the specialised brain cells that underpin human navigational skills. This latest breakthrough reveals the potential for human brain-like activity to emerge from scratch in AI systems. These developments in disruptive technologies could mean faster and more accurate hypotheses, a less costly and more effective drug discovery process and a whole range of additional benefits across the pharmaceutical supply chain.  We will be watching progress in this area with great interest. Read more…

#ThankYouMidwife generates a social media storm, once again

Thousands of women took to Instagram last week to mark International Day of the Midwife, as part of Pamper’s most recent ‘arm’ of its campaign, following the success of its Christmas initiative for midwives. Reports revealed that as many as 1 in 3 midwives feel undervalued. For each purchase of a limited edition thank you card via Moonpig and for every share of the hashtag, Pampers pledged to donate £1 to the Royal College of Midwives Benevolent fund, which helps midwives in need.

This is not the first time Pampers has shown its support of care professionals, with previous campaigns thanking nurses. This series of campaigns is an example of re-conditioning an idea consistently over time to create a strong brand with a clear, actionable human instinct. This is a great time to for the brand to raise its profile and is incredibly timely given the recent news from NHS England to further increase mental health care funding for new and expectant mothers by £20m. Read more…


We’re not just talking rubbish

Giving a new meaning to the phrase “flash your plastic”, Ecover, the eco-friendly detergent brand, launched London’s first “Rubbish café” in Covent Garden on 3 & 4 May, aiming to educate consumers around their use of single-waste plastic. All in celebration of the arrival of their new recyclable washing-up liquid range, Ecover’s pop-up eatery served a zero-waste menu and only accepted recyclable plastic as payment.   The initiative is part of Ecover’s wider #LetsLiveClean campaign, challenging consumers to rethink the value of their rubbish, providing awareness of not just their brand, but about the clean-living movement in general. The campaign taps into the current high exposure of environmentally-friendly messaging that is inspiring consumers to change generation-old habits. Read more…

HELLO! turns 30 in style

As part of its 30th birthday celebrations, HELLO! Magazine has joined forces with high-fashion retailer, Dover Street Market, to develop a tongue-in-cheek collaboration that’s all in the name of charity.

The duo invited established and emerging design talents, including the likes of Stella McCartney and Charles Jeffrey to reinterpret the HELLO! logo and develop a capsule collection to mark the occasion. All pieces will be on sale at Dover Street Market, which has been given the Andy Hillman treatment (the legendary set designer who has worked with British Vogue,  Louise Vuitton and Belstaff), with 50% of proceeds going to Sentebale, a charity which helps deprived children in Lesotho, and 7: The David Beckham UNICEF Fund.

Alongside the pop-up, which runs from 09-16 May, there is an online auction  which sees the likes of Kent and Curwen and Peter Dundas donate one-of-a-kind items and experiences. All proceeds will go to the aforementioned charities.

There is certainly strength to be had in numbers, and this heady cocktail of famous names will undoubtedly appeal to fashion conscious consumers. Creating value is the future for brands, proving that capitalising on collaboration and accessibility can be a key to major marketing exposure. Read more…

Virgo meets Reuters

Last week, one of our Account Managers had the opportunity to meet with journalist royalty, Ben Hirschler of Reuters. Ben is global pharmaceuticals correspondent, covering a wide range of topics from the latest advances in cancer research to the financial health of drug companies to controversies over pricing and access to medicines around the world. This opportunity allowed us to gain fantastic insights as Ben shared his thoughts on what stories really interested him and he offered tips on getting our clients’ stories noticed. Building these key relationships is so important to us here at Virgo.