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Project Insight: CANARX

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When most people think of marketing, ads, TV spots and taglines might come to mind. Yes, that is a big part of what we do as an agency, but it’s just one bar in the wide spectrum of marketing. The goal of this business is to solve problems and improve results, so we do that in a number of ways besides what you see on the page, the web or the screen.

Each project is a challenge, one that we have several methods for addressing. In the case of CANARX, for example, a massive and intricate internal communication strategy involving print and digital assets was the answer.



CANARX is a Canada-based international prescription service provider that offers discounted medications to U.S. residents via a network of companies and organizations that administer the plan. We’ve done plenty of work for CANARX over the years, including a rebrand, website, collateral and video work. In this case we had to address one of the client’s challenges that was rooted participation of the end user – the people who actually receive the medications – in their program.

Basically, an organization – usually a government-affiliated entity – partners with CANARX to offer the plan for free prescription medications as a benefit to their employees. The more employees participate, the more savings for the employer. The problem was just a small percentage of employees were utilizing the benefit. We needed to increase participation.

As part of its services, CANARX arms its plan administrators at each organization with promotional assets to raise awareness of the benefit and attract participation from employees. It’s a fairly easy sell: employees get their medications shipped for free to their homes for zero copay. The strategy to get them to sign up is a bit more complex.

First, we developed the convincing creative that would appeal to the target audience of employees within the organizations offering the CANARX benefit. The assets covered virtually every angle from postcards and e-communications to posters and paystub inserts. From there, we created a catalog of sorts that was distributed to plan administrators who could choose which communications would help them reach their employees. They can select whatever they’d like from this menu of options and basically put in an order for a custom set.

Customization is key to our strategy. Each piece is fully customized for each organization, of which there are hundreds. This goes beyond co-branding each piece with the employer’s logo. Everything can be customized right down to the copy and message they’d like to convey. Some, for example, choose to offer promotions like a gift card or other incentives for signing up. Others need bilingual content.

Because there are so many options, a design template that could be automated would not do. Essentially each communication is unique and requires special attention to ensure they remain accurate and consistent. That means the Art Department is tasked with crafting each piece one by one to the tune of over 200 designs each month.

Obviously, this requires a solid system to execute efficiently. So, as one tactic, we developed a portal that plan administrators could use to “order” their assets, uploading any necessary customization like the aforementioned logo, copy or incentive. We compile these using a proprietary system developed just for the project.

Designers take the custom information and begin laying out all the assets requested. Postcards are the most popular and there’s quite a process behind those as we work with the vendor to coordinate the printing and mailing of these as well.

We needed a solution for measurement. As part of the customization, each postcard gets a unique QR code with a custom web address for tracking so we can provide the client with results on demand.

All the while, each piece is proofed by our staff for final approval by CANARX and plan members to make sure they are perfect. We work closely with the client to refine the process continuously.

As we said in the beginning, we’re problem solvers who apply just as much creativity to strategy as we do the concepts. The campaigns we develop aren’t always about the flashy ads or taglines. CANARX is one example of how we accept any challenge and solve it in a way that’s best for the client.

About The Author

Bryce is well-versed in creative thinking and the art of design, capably taking on any task that comes his way. He’s no stranger to ABC, having served as an intern since his high school days. Bryce is now a full-time part of the team and invaluable member of the staff who is constantly coming up with cool compositions for application in all media.

Bryce is a proud sound junkie, using an endless array of music genres as his muse for creating fantastic design or just chilling out. A devout sneakerhead, you’ll catch him wearing his latest pair to transport him all around his beloved Syracuse community.