Cartoons mean business

When national pharmaceutical wholesaler ProPharma wanted to humanise and personalise the company’s positioning and message – in what is essentially a serious and somewhat dry sector – management hit on the unusual idea of using cartoons.

General manager and illustrator at gardyneHOLT, Malcolm Dale, says the first fine art drawings commissioned by ProPharma were caricatures for the company’s Facebook page.

“They were such a big hit that ProPharma started using the cartoon-like drawings to personalise staff and management email signatures, and again they were well received. People just don’t see that level of personalisation these days.

“The pharmacy industry is a very serious business, so it was important that we strike a balance between humanising and personalising the business, without descending into frivolity – they have proven to be such an effective communication tool that the company now uses them in its advertising and lobbying activity.”

ProPharma communications specialist Jonathan James says people quickly began to identify the company’s brand with the drawings.

“People thought that not only were they cool and nifty, but they provided a very high level of recognition and engagement - people pay attention to the drawings and it’s easy for them to get the message because they communicate so quickly and succinctly.”

Jonathan says the company has now started using the cartoons as part of its lobbying activity, including in recent calls for more sustainable supply chain delivery in the industry.

“A sustainable supply chain is a difficult concept to communicate, but the cartoons really inject emotion into the message and create some mirth – they’re unique because no artwork is ever the same.

It works really well for us.”


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