Year in Review with Genentech’s Nicholas Waton

Portrait of a Scientist Gail Lewis Phillips in her own words. Illustrated by Wendy MacNaughton 12/28/2015

Visual Storytelling Examples, Health Games Top Trends in 2015

Visual Storytelling Examples Nicholas WatonAyogo had the chance to catch up with Nicholas Waton, Brand & Digital Corporate Relations for Genentech, who shared his thoughts on how 2015 unfolded.

Ayogo: Looking behind, what trends did you see really take hold in pharma marketing, industry-wide in 2015?

NW: 2015 has been a turning point for pharma marketing and communications. We saw visual storytelling put the patient story in the center. For instance at Genentech we developed the Perseverance story.

In addition, serious games used in medical settings caught my attention. I saw interesting uses of games to track cognitive functions of patients. Also using games to teach scientific concepts or technology breakthroughs like the Cancer-Immunity Cycle from Genentech.

Technologies like wearables and virtual reality are leading to new kinds of content experiences.

Pharma companies are recognizing that patient empowerment is as important as the treatment for better patient outcomes. And they’re engaging with online patient communities to provide better information access.

Ayogo: As Pharma companies continue to evolve beyond the pill, what patient-centric, multi-channel approaches caught your eye in 2015? Can you share any “beyond the pill” developments we’ll see come out of Genentech in 2016?

NW: We will see the emergence of solutions that leverage the Internet of Things and online communities that help connect patients to support and services—almost like the Yelp of patient support.

We’ll see the emergence of the corporate brand voice. The corporate brand is no longer just a logo but is becoming a voice of its own with Pharma Brands becoming their own media publishers.

Ayogo: What were your biggest challenges? What were the biggest opportunities?

NW: The hardest challenge has been to make sure our content quality stays very high, even in our heavily regulated environment. We are trying to focus on doing less but doing it better.

Ayogo: Looking ahead, what factors do you think will play an important role in determining the performance and direction of the pharmaceutical industry overall in 2016?

NW: As genomic testing costs less and less, the pharmaceutical industry needs to be able to adapt to this new opportunity. We need to build the ability to connect the data with the treatment for better outcomes.

Ayogo: What are you hoping you can say at the end of 2016, looking back on a successful year?

NW: At Genentech, that we did a great job telling our stories in new and impactful ways. We connected with an audience and kept them engaged.Visual Storytelling Examples - Gail Lewis Phillips Genentech

Ayogo: Yes, Genentech has done a wonderful job of building brand while explaining drug development in an interactive and very human way. We’ll continue to follow your stories project as it continues to unfold in 2016.

Pharmaceutical companies are trying a range of innovative strategies to engage audiences through interactive design. Innovation in interactive design is leading to a range of health-related narrative games and patient-centered stories told through visual storytelling.

Do you have an interactive, digital project that you would like to discuss with Ayogo? Our designers and creative team can translate your insights into a narrative-driven, interactive solution.

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