Why can’t we have more fun with numbers? Within a matter of a week, reports of 2 unrelated advertising campaigns made numbers resonate in a very innovative way. The first was a campaign reported in Ad Age about a global effort to celebrate Coke’s 125th anniversary. To mark this momentous occasion, the Argentinian agency, Furia, developed “125 reasons to believe in a better world” and executed the campaign by developing a video for each idea as well as a book that describes them all.

The second example, reported in the New York Times, celebrates Oreo’s 100th anniversary (Oct. 2) with a campaign called the “Daily Twist.” This campaign served Oreo fans a different ad each day through FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest in the months approaching Oreo’s 100thanniversary on October 2, 2012. The ads are fun and showcase important and interesting current events, such as the Mars rover explorationBastille Day, and the introduction of Apple’s iPhone 5. The campaign’s finale is an ad produced “live, in Times Square and based on ideas submitted by consumers in person and through social media,” says Cindy Chen, marketing director for Oreo at Kraft Foods. The purpose, according to Chen, is “to show the world how relevant this brand is now by commenting on real-time happenings.”

So that got me thinking: Why can’t pharma have more fun with numbers? While Rx products don’t have the market longevity of a Coke- or Oreo-type brand, there are many numbers worth celebrating in a creative way. For example:

  • Relevant, applicable medical milestones; for example, the development of the first statin drug
  • Breakthrough efficacy numbers, like the ones seen with the new class of hepatitis C drugs that made treatment efficacy soar from 50% to over 80% in 2011
  • Important anniversaries for nonprofits, such as the American Heart Association

Somehow, it’s funny that an industry so steeped in numbers should overlook its power to communicate and engage.

So taking a lick from Oreo’s Daily Twist, how can you make numbers look delicious?