When you’re making that creative leap, your first few rounds of creative should always avoid the expected pharma metaphors and clichés. Only as a last resort, after the client has rejected 101 brilliant concepts, is it appropriate (yet painful) to pull your metaphor safety cord.

Here are three global ads that use parachutes as their visual hook. Which of the ads is unlike the other?

Konverge-12011KONVERGE is indicated for hypertension in patients whose blood pressure is not adequately controlled on olmesartan medoxomil or amlodipine monotherapy. This 2011 ad from A. Menarini Pharmaceiticals Ireland and Daiichi Sankyo depicts two special forces commandos in branded parachutes on a mission into hostile territory, “combining forces in hypertension control.” The only surprise here is that the client approved the use of military images, usually a polarizing issue in the global market, and normally seen as US-centric because of our perceived “war-mongering” ways.

TresibaApr2013-TRESIBA, a new-generation once-daily longer-lasting basal insulin that increases dosing flexibility for adult patients with type 1 or type 2 diabetes, was launched in the EU in 2013. Here we see three consecutive parachutes carrying HbA1c numbers, coming in for a targeted landing next to a smiling, satisfied patient because we’re getting “HbA1c down with control.” There are no special ops forces depicted, but because of the brand’s color, the green parachutes and the patient’s requisite green branded sweatshirt, it gives the ad that military camouflage wartime feel.

Dukoral-112011Lastly, from Quebec, comes an ad for DUKORAL, an oral vaccine for protection against travellers’ diarrhea. While the execution and design could be stronger, here the parachute is situational rather than metaphorical. Parasailing on vacation, “This is not the right time to have travellers’ diarrhea.” We get it, Montezuma…a real situation that makes your sphincter tighten up at the thought of it.

SAMSo just remember that even though you strive for brilliance, there will come a time in the creative process that you’ll have to jump and open the metaphor chute. Think of it more as a free fall, finding your parachute bag filled with camping equipment, as you watch your creativity plummet and then splatter on the earth below…but at least you’ll end up with a cliché-happy client and a portfolio of brilliant comps.