DeepIntent and Clinch Partner
to Push Personalized
Digital Pharma Ads to Patients

Partnership enables DeepIntent to ramp up its healthcare ad targeting capabilities amid growing demand for connected TV ads

Featured in Fierce Pharma by Natalie Missakian – June 8, 2022

Healthcare ad tech leader DeepIntent is teaming with omnichannel campaign management company Clinch to help pharma deliver more timely and personalized digital ads to patients—especially on connected TV.  

The partnership, announced Wednesday, June 8, comes as pharma marketers are increasingly breaking out of their linear TV comfort zone to advertise on CTV and other digital platforms, which allow for more targeted ads.

Although network TV still makes up the biggest chunk of pharma ad spending, DeepIntent said it saw a 25-fold increase in CTV spend through its ad-buying platform last year.

The link-up will give DeepIntent’s pharma clients access to Clinch’s dynamic creative optimization capabilities and its omnichannel campaign management platform Flight Control, described as a single tool for strategy, activation and measurement across all channels and devices. 

The technology will let pharma advertisers test personalized messages in multiple digital channels like display, online video and CTV and make adjustments in real time, Clinch CEO Oz Etzioni told Fierce Pharma Marketing. 

“While personalization is more common in consumer marketing, it’s notoriously difficult for pharma and healthcare brands to be able to access that same level of creativity due to strict regulations,” he said. However, the partnership will “unlock new personalization and targeting capabilities.”

Clinch specializes in dynamic creative optimization, or DCO, which involves using artificial intelligence to create and deliver different iterations of the same ad, depending on the specific real-time circumstances of the viewer. (If you’ve ever gotten a free delivery coupon from a food takeout service on your mobile device at 5 p.m. on a rainy weeknight, DCO was likely involved.)

For a pharma campaign employing DCO, a rain forecast might trigger a drug ad for a weather-dependent condition like arthritis to people living in a targeted geographic area, explained Clinch’s Vice President of Marketing, Katie Arena. 

Clinch already counts a long list of household brand names among its customers (United Airlines, Bloomingdale’s, Nestle Waters and CVS Pharmacy, to name a few) but partnered with DeepIntent because it wanted to expand in the pharma space, Etzioni said. DeepIntent says its client roster includes nine of the top 10 pharmas. 

For DeepIntent’s part, the partnership will help it beef up its growing CTV ad marketplace. While the company focuses on audience planning, activation and measurement, it typically has not been involved in the creative side of campaigns, such as asset building and “versioning,” said Aaron Letscher, DeepIntent’s Vice President of CTV Development. 

“That’s what Clinch does, so it’s very complementary,” he said. Creative options will grow from “four or five” per client currently to potentially dozens of different variations through DCO, he said.  

For pharma brands specifically, Clinch may also help solve what Letscher calls “the creative length challenge.” Drug commercials run longer than most because they must include the FDA-required information on side effects and risks, but the lengthier formats are sometimes an obstacle to CTV ad placements, he said. 

“If there’s a way to compress that information and still make it useful and relevant and provide all the necessary disclosure, then that’s a really big win for pharma,” he said.