MM+M Agency of the Year | VMLY&R




IBRANCE (palbociclib): "In the Moment" Videos

How do you provide meaningful support to women newly diagnosed with an incurable disease: metastatic breast cancer (mBC)? How do you help them navigate the challenges of their journey beyond diagnosis and inspire them to live in the moment? And how do you do it during a global pandemic when face-to-face interaction is too risky, making newly diagnosed patients feel even more isolated?

The answer is to get creative. You tap into your community of mBC ambassadors – patients and caregivers with real experiences of living with the disease – and invite them to become filmmakers. Better still, you put them in charge of the camera, and free them up to be the stars of the show. These women are vibrant and engaging, living full and meaningful lives. And they have stories to share. We empowered them with the tools, technologies and creative freedom to tell those stories from their own homes and on their own terms.

The films they made – our ‘In the Moment’ videos – are honest and uplifting. And they’re inspiring more and more patients to get the support they deserve.

The backstory  

An mBC diagnosis can be overwhelming. The journey from diagnosis through treatment is filled with confusion, information overload and high emotion. Patients need support but are too often marginalized; they’re unwelcome in support groups with earlier stage cancer patients, and feel isolated from the hope of the ‘pink ribbon’ movement. As such, they lean heavily on the support of fellow mBC patients. They’re eager to connect with others living with the diagnosis, finding great value in the perspectives of those who have already tackled the same challenges.

The mission

IBRANCE® (palbociclib) 125 mg capsules and tablets are a prescription medicine used in adults to treat HR+, HER2- breast cancer that has spread to other parts of the body (metastatic) in combination with an aromatase inhibitor as the first hormonal based therapy in postmenopausal women or in men, or fulvestrant in people with disease progression following hormonal therapy. As part of the offering, IBRANCE provides resources to help patients navigate the challenging mBC journey. We wanted to let patients know these resources are there for them and provide opportunities for patient-to-patient connection through the IBRANCE Ambassadors program.

IBRANCE Ambassadors are a community of real IBRANCE patients and caregivers who offer support and encouragement to patients with mBC. To enhance this support, we wanted to share our Ambassadors’ inspirational stories with mBC patients via web videos. However, because of their vulnerability during the Covid-19 pandemic, we couldn’t visit our Ambassadors to film them in their homes.

So how do you capture authentic perspectives – and bring them to life – when face-to-face engagement isn’t an option?

You get creative. We invited our Ambassadors to become movie-makers… and they grabbed the opportunity!

The shoot

A stylist sent cosmetics and gave hair/make-up tutorials on Zoom. We scouted home locations virtually – meeting pets, kids and husbands along the way. We lent them smartphones,  tripods and minimal accessories – no light, no sound equipment, no playback.

Then we gathered on video conference and chatted. Videos were shot by whoever was on hand, including an uncle, an 8-year old and, of course, the IBRANCE patients themselves.

The shoots culminated in a compelling campaign that shares the inspirational truths of strong women living ‘in the moment’ with mBC.

Viewing figures

The campaign is helping us achieve our ongoing mission to educate, support and inspire mBC patients – further strengthening our community of IBRANCE patients.

Ambassador videos have increased engagement on the IBRANCE site, inspiring more patients to register for support programs or download resources. The most played video – Ursula – has inspired viewers to remain on the site for 22 times longer than the average visit, and 11 times more likely to register for a program or download online tools. The second most watched video – Ruth – has also driven high levels of engagement, with viewers staying on the site 28 times longer than the average visit and 20 times more likely to sign up for support.

The credits

"In the Moment" videos captured authentic stories of amazing women living meaningful lives with mBC. They offer hope and support to marginalized and isolated mBC patients everywhere.

Please see important safety information and full prescribing information at

Pfizer: Unbranded COVID-19 Consumer DTC AOR 

It doesn’t get any bigger than launching the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. In 2021, one of our proudest achievements was partnering with Pfizer in this historic effort.

VMLY&R HEALTH is helping Pfizer navigate the complex pandemic landscape, as well as inspiring people of all types to get vaccinated and boosted. We’re creating work designed to reinforce Pfizer’s scientific prowess and trust in the Pfizer vaccine.

Pfizer’s commitment to fighting the COVID-19 pandemic has made it a true leadership brand around the world. Long a trailblazer in the pharma category, Pfizer has fast emerged as a true crossover brand, now living amongst tech and lifestyle brands while still maintaining its scientific roots. As such, VMLY&R HEALTH has been charged with developing a large body of strategic creative work that is driving increased trust in the brand with campaigns that include broadcast video, social content and experiential in-arena programs that often partner with community influencers. With pandemic speed, we created radio for distribution in retail environments and a partnership with iHeart Radio – the fastest ways for us to get our message out broadly once vaccines for people ages 16 and older were authorized. As vaccine hesitancy is one of the biggest barriers to the global vaccination program, overcoming it was one of the greatest marketing communications challenges of our lifetime. The audience is truly all adults, everywhere, and we needed an enormous number of touchpoints to get our message out in an environment of rampant misinformation, disinformation and confusing regulatory announcements.

Our work for Pfizer began in August 2021, literally hours after winning the pitch. Our mission was to reach the entire country and inspire them to vaccinate, and continued non-stop as vaccines became authorized for different groups of people over the following months. Given the breadth of our mission, we needed multiple messages to inspire these groups. We crafted work representing different perspectives and creative platforms to ensure we could connect to this enormously diverse audience, with creative that emphasized not just the message, but the messenger.

One of our showpieces was the “Pursuit of Normal.” This came to life in broadcast TV, online video and across social channels. It took a distinct way in and leveraged singular insights to give us a wide range of appeal. The “Pursuit of Normal” platform spoke directly to the unifying insight that no matter how people thought about the different compromises and safety measures needed during the pandemic, we all hungered for a return to “normal”, which inspired people about the role of the Pfizer vaccine played in helping us get there.

Beyond our bigger platforms, we also sought to leverage key cultural moments. Our New Year’s Eve digital campaign in Times Square was all about infusing vaccination into the “New Year’s resolutions” moment. We were able to insert ourselves into the moment when people think about making changes in their lives to drive home our vaccination message, while facing an extraordinarily tight schedule to get it done.

Finally, while no one was untouched by the COVID-19 pandemic, Pfizer needed to connect with two groups within our mass effort whose vaccination rates trailed those of others. The pandemic was especially destructive to people of color, who suffered disproportionately, as well as younger adults who mistakenly thought they couldn’t get really sick. To inspire these subsets to vaccinate and help encourage protection, we needed a non-traditional way of cutting through the noise about COVID-19. 

We turned to the NBA and the Brooklyn Nets franchise who were already reaching fans in these groups. We wanted to use the partnership to discover an authentic trusted messenger for these fans. Instead of taking the easy way out and using a prominently known athlete, we chose Bruce Brown, an up-and-coming African-American basketball player who had a universal everyman resonance. His story had the power to influence this under-vaccinated audience by showcasing his commitment to help his team win. The partnership with the Brooklyn Nets and Bruce Brown provided timely, relevant, and powerful messaging opportunities.

Throughout the COVID-19 emergency, the Nets’ owners have supported testing and vaccination centers like the one at the Modell’s site near Barclays Center, and in the early days of the pandemic they acquired and provided 2,000 ventilators across New York City. By partnering with the Brooklyn Nets and their player Bruce Brown, we reached under-vaccinated segments in a way that was different from anything other pharmaceutical companies had done before. We took over the Barclays Center arena, both inside and outside, with highly visible, impactful, and timely messages focused on getting vaccinated and boosted. Our work featured Bruce Brown “not missing his shot” and making vaccination relevant to his audience.              

By partnering with the Nets and harnessing the emotional intensity of Bruce Brown’s story, we inspired the community. Our multichannel film was amplified via in-arena signage and placements on the YES Network to reach fans and viewers in-game. And we bolstered our reach through social media, local network stations and displays in Times Square, Broadway Plaza and Midtown Mosaic. We reached 49% of our target audience of adults 18 and over and generated over 28 million impressions over the course of its run. Data pulled from YouGov and the YES network reflected approximately 36% of Nets fans have seen an ad from Pfizer and 64% have a positive impression about Pfizer, the highest positive impression among all drug manufacturers.

Pfizer’s accomplishments in combatting the COVID-19 pandemic have been extraordinary. We at VMLY&R are humbled to be their partner as this historic fight continues.


Dell Technologies, Intel,

and the Motor Neurone Disease Association: 

I Will Always Be Me

Dell Technologies and Intel have a strong partnership, propelled by the shared belief in the power of technology to drive humanity forward. Both companies have a long-standing relationship with the Motor Neurone Disease Association (MNDA) to create technology solutions for people living with motor neurone disease (MND). MND is a neurodegenerative condition that deteriorates nerve cells that control muscles and ultimately takes away a person’s ability to speak. Even though voice banking technology is available, only about 12% of people with MND in the UK have banked their voice. In 2020, Dell Technologies and Intel came to VMLY&R, their shared agency, with a brief to find a way to get more people living with MND to bank their voice.

When MND takes away all your abilities, your voice becomes the only means to express yourself. While realizing that our voices are our identities, denial prevents newly diagnosed people from considering a future without their voice. Yet time is of the essence for people with MND. Therefore, we set to turn voice banking into one of the first things they’d want to do and elevate the voice banking experience from its current solitary, clinical environment to an inclusive and empowering one.

"I Will Always Be Me" is the world’s first voice banking book. We worked with New York Times bestselling author Jill Twiss and artist Nicholas Stevenson to create a story that people with MND can read to their loved ones to share what they are going through. As they read, the system seamlessly banks their voice in less than 30 minutes. All the syllables needed to create an accurate copy of their voice are contained in the story, and the emotions captured in the session create a higher-quality version of their digital voice. We’re turning the cold, solitary process of voice banking into an experience that’s full of life — encouraging more people with MND to bank their voices early.

"I Will Always Be Me" was created with the goal of making voice banking more accessible to people living with MND, reducing the time between diagnosis and voice banking and increasing overall voice banking rate. Less than two months after launch, hundreds of digital voices had been created by reading the book, making "I Will Always Be Me" the most popular choice for voice banking in the UK today. More than 72% of those recently diagnosed with MND are now using the book to bank their voice. The campaign to launch the project generated over 1.2 million social media engagements and over 200 million PR media impressions, driving more people to bank their voices and raising awareness around MND.

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