65 big/small/medium Pharmaceutical companies and 10 publishers took part in the ESMO. A white based theme was observed for all the booths in the ESMO Exhibition area. The booths attracted a lot of footfall and were packed right from day 1 of the conference. Most of the companies of our interest stayed away from promotional messages and emotive imagery and chose to restrict booth messaging to trial readouts and known facts about their products. Of all the competitors BMS, MSD and AZ booths were the most attractive in terms of size, layout and content.
AZ’s booth was well staffed by medical and marketing associates. AZ promoted itself as the “employer of choice” with several emotive messages on teamwork and work environment at AZ. Additionally, AZ publicly displayed its corporate goals of launching 10 NMEs by 2020 and reaching out to 200 million patients while becoming a $50B company by 2025. The Tagrisso messages were restricted to trial readouts for Tagrisso (Updated results from AURA, AURA ext. and AURA2) and Iressa. No patient stories/narratives or emotive imagery were depicted
BMS implemented a very large Japanese garden for Opdivo – a signal of equanimity and focus. Opdivo was the highlight of the booth but the company stayed away from patient narratives or emotive imagery; communication was restricted to reporting CM– 017 (Sq.) and CM–057 (Non-Sq.) results. The only promotional messaging seen was a large panel indicating Opdivo to be “The Only I/O agent to deliver superior OS across 3 tumor types – melanoma, NSCLC and RCC”
MSD´s booth, right opposite BMS, displayed a similarly large (and shining) billboard for Keytruda presumably to gain attention. The company highlighted Keytruda´s entire clinical program along with trial recruitment sites for its star product Keytruda subtly indicating the MSD might behind Keytruda. However, the overt messaging was limited to the outcomes from KEYNOTE-010. The patient and physician education activity on Keytruda® (selection, dosing, side effects etc.) was very successful in attracting a large footfall.
Roche had probably the simplest and the most effective exhibitor strategy – The company simply displayed its portfolio of marketed products in a large and noticeable panel. Given that Roche has the BIGGEST portfolio of on/market oncolytics, the panel effectively conveyed Roche´s market leadership to ever passerby. Roche choose not to highlight its late stage pipeline at the booth but instead focused on prompting its efforts on providing better outcomes to patients through comprehensive gene profiling program FoundationOneTM
Lilly’s booth – large and implemented with red color tones, promoted the company´s unique position in Lung Cancer – catering to entire lung cancer spectrum through 3 products- Alimta (1st line and maintenance), Cyramza (2L+) and Portrazza (1L SqCC).
In conclusion, a significant body of new data was released at ESMO 2016. There was a clear sense of excitement and positive anticipation as it relates to improving patient outcomes.