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March 1, 2012
Less than 2 years ago, I got very excited when I saw a Canadian pharma ad on my FaceBook profile. It was the first Canadian pharma ad that I had personally ever seen on FaceBook. You can read my post about it here. We sure have come a long way since then. Throughout 2011 and so far in 2012, I have spotted several ads on my FaceBook profile, by Canadian pharmaceutical companies. In fact, Pfizer Canada might be the first Canadian pharma company to advertise a Schedule F prescription drug name on FaceBook. In Canada, pharmaceutical companies must follow very restrictive Rx-DTC (direct-to-consumer) guidelines. The only things that can be mentioned in the public regarding Schedule F Rx products are product name, price and quantity. The ad below complies with the regulations. GlaxoSmithKline Canada promoted their vaccine Cervarix via FaceBook ads back in Q4 2011. Although the product name and disease state appear in the ad, it complies with Health Canada's Rx-DTC regulations because Cervarix is a schedule D drug, and it is not promoting a schedule A disease. Now Midol might not be a prescription drug, but it belongs to Bayer which is a pharmaceutical company, so I think that they deserve kudos for entering the social media advertisement arena. The Midol FaceBook ads were very consumer-savvy, offering a prize and driving traffic to their site by offering entertainment in the form of punishment on the man in the ad - it doesn't sound very nice, but I saw the site and I did not find it offensive at all. It was all in the name of fun. The rest of the FaceBook ads by Canadian pharma companies that I saw on my profile were all to help raise awareness of certain disease states. As long as no brand name is mentioned, this is a completely acceptable form of promotion according to Health Canada. There might have been ads targeted to men, or younger / older audience, or other demographic that did not fit my profile, so this is by no means a complete inventory of Canadian pharma ads on FaceBook. If you have seen other FaceBook ads by Canadian pharma, let us know in the comments section. If you happen to have a picture, e-mail it to me and I will gladly add it to the post and give you credit for having found it.
December 13, 2010
If you suffer from pain, are you inclined to see laughter as the best medicine? McNeil Consumer Healthcare (a division of J&J) is counting on it. McNeil Consumer Healthcare is the Canadian distributor of Motrin®, pain relief over-the-counter medication. On Thursday December 2nd 2010, a new Motrin® Canada FaceBook page was launched. At the moment, the main promoted feature of the page is an app called "The Wicked Pain-Poker". I was fascinated by this creative use of social media by a Canadian healthcare organization, so I joined the page 2 days after its launch, and I was the 170th person to 'like' the page. As of Sunday December 12th 2010, there were 1,046 members of this new community. The Motrin® Canada page is being promoted, with a focus on the Wicked Pain-Poker app. It appears to be heavily promoted on FaceBook. So far, I have seen three variations of the "Motrin® Wicked Pain-Poker" ad on FaceBook, and an ad for the Motrin® Canada page seems to appear on my FaceBook profile every time I log on (and I log on several times per day). I also saw an interactive ad on Yahoo Canada. The ads all caught my attention very quickly - they are colourful, with an interesting voodoo doll, and the copy peaks your curiosity. The interactive Yahoo ad may be a bit violent for some people's taste, but these people are probably not the target market for the Wicked Pain-Poker app on the Motrin® Canada page (and they would definitely not like using the app itself). [caption id="attachment_1588" align="aligncenter" width="468" caption="FaceBook ads for Motrin Canada FaceBook page - December 2010"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_1589" align="aligncenter" width="468" caption="Interactive Yahoo Canada ad for Motrin Canada FaceBook page - December 2010"][/caption] There was no promotion of the FaceBook page on the Canadian Motrin® site itself. The site looks a little outdated (customer comments all date from 2003 and the special offer that is promoted is no longer available), so promoting their social media activities may not be a priority for the organization at this time. Once you click on one of the ads, you are brought to the Motrin® Canada FaceBook page, on the Wicked Pain-Poker app tab. Then you select which friend you want to poke, crop their photo in the 'face' of the voodoo doll, identify whether it is a male or female, ... and then you get to poke the doll wherever you want. SPOILER ALERT - do not continue to read if you want to find out by yourself what happens once you poke the doll, but please come back to tell us what you think though. From what I could see, there are 3 variations of outcomes depending on where you poke the doll: A) if you poke in the head, a piano drops on the doll, B) if you poke in the torso, a shark eats the doll's arm (same as in the Yahoo Canada ad), and C) if you poke in the legs, a pinata donkey charges at the doll and makes the doll fall. Ouch ouch ouch !!! Once the poke outcome is completed, you have the choice of sending the pain poke to your friend or not. So if you had a lot of fun inflicting pain on one of your FaceBook friends and then get a guilty conscious that maybe this person might not appreciate the joke, the person will not know unless you send them the message. Maybe I am being naive, but my bet is that most people will have fun with the app to see the different outcomes, but they won't send it to their friends. Would you send it? I am not sure that I would. But if you do decide to let your friend know that you have poked them, you can write a personalized note. You will notice that at the bottom right corner, there is an offer for $5 off Motrin®. Just that might be enough to get some people interested in checking out the Wicked Pain-Poker app. Community rules and monitoring: Now although this is meant for fun, McNeil Consumer Healthcare takes the management and monitoring of the Motrin® Canada FaceBook page very seriously. Members of the community may post statements and comments on the Wall, and they can also 'Like' posts, but there are rules that members must to follow. See the rules below. You will notice that members are asked not to post adverse reactions /events while using a particular product. The organization is very clear that if adverse reactions / events are posted on the page that they will be disclosed to the appropriate authorities, including member's name : The posts made by members of the community have been minimal so far, but in fairness, the site is only 10 days old at the time of writing this article. There have been several posts that fall within the "I love this page" category, and 1 post from an offended pain sufferer. As the number of posts grow, we will see how the community members truly feel about the page. Motrin® Canada has so far only written 2 posts themselves, and have not commented on any of the members' posts yet. It is still early to see what type of engagement will fall out of the Motrin® Canada page, but I certainly look forward to watching it unfold. My guess is that the target audience for the Wicked Pain-Poker is somebody who experiences pain on occasion, or maybe not at all (at least not yet, with the hopes that if they ever do, that Motrin® will be the brand that comes to mind first). Chonic pain sufferers might be more apt to find the application too offensive, and they could feel ridiculed. Although this has not been confirmed, my assumption is that the organization is prepared to respond appropriately if the Wicket Pain-Poker app gets too much negative feedback from pain sufferers based on J&J's previous (and very public) experience with the Motrin® Moms situation. Other Motrin® Moms case study resourcer here. What is the strategy of the Motrin® Canada FaceBook page? According to David Akermanis, Producer/DJ. Account Manager, Health at Edelman, the strategy is to reinforce the brand’s position as the pain reliever that ‘targets your pain’. The Motrin® Wicked Pain-Poker Application is a fun and light-hearted way to bring that positioning to life. Is this the first time that Motrin has been involved in light hearted jabs at pain? No way! You might recall the Motrin® Wickedest Wipeouts Contest which was held earlier this year. According to David Akermanis, the Wipeouts Canada contest really emphasized the passion with which Canadians are engaging online. As such, McNeil Consumer Healthcare wanted to take that a step further by starting the Motrin® Canada Facebook Page. David also states that although the Motrin® Canada Facebook Page is the only Canadian Motrin social media property at this point, there are additional opportunities that the Motrin® team is looking at for 2011. Agencies involved: TAXI developed the Motrin® Canada Facebook Page and the Motrin® Wicked Pain-Poker Application, Edelman is responsible for community management/measurement and J3 Canada is responsible for the online media buy. Many thanks to David Akermanis, Producer/DJ. Account Manager, Health at Edelman, and Rachel Segal, Consumer Marketing Account Director at Edelman for their help in answering some of my questions about this case study. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Despite the fact that the Motrin® Canada Wicked Pain-Poker app is meant for fun, pain is a very serious issue that affects many Canadians. The Canadian Pain Coalition reports that 17% to 31% of the general community report chronic pain. Hopefully it is true that laughter is the best medicine and that some pain sufferers can relieve a bit of their pain for at least a moment or so by being a member of the Motrin® Canada FaceBook page. I encourage you to join the Motrin® Canada FaceBook page and test out the Wicked Pain-Poker app. Do you want to test the Wicket Pain-Poker app without risk of insulting any of your FaceBook friends? Then feel free to use me as your guinea pig - I won't take offense. You can find me on FaceBook here . Seriously - go ahead! What do you think of the Motrin ® Canada FaceBook page and the Wicked Pain-Poker app? Is McNeil Consumer Healthcare targeting the right audience with this tactic to drive their business? Stay in touch, Natalie Connect with me on the following networks: FaceBook, Twitter, LinkedIn
November 16, 2010
Every once in a while, an organization stands out from the rest as a good corporate citizen. For the past couple of years, I have been watching the good deeds by Telus which are positively influencing healthcare in Canada. In fact, they are a sponsor of one of my favorite children non-profit organizations, Upopolis. Here is a statement that is found on the Info tab of their FaceBook page:
We give where we live. TELUS supports local communities and charities across the country.This week, I saw the following sponsored ad on my personal FaceBook profile: When you click on the "Telus" link, you are brought to the "Like to give" tab on the Telus FaceBook page. Update November 26 2010: Pic with all 12 charities that were included in "Like to Give" Telus campaign Telus allows comments to be added to their FaceBook posts, but they do not allow wall posts to be initiated by others. I sent them a note on Twitter asking why this was the case, but 24+ hours later, I still had not heard anything from them. My personal guess is that they do not allow others to initiate posts because they want to avoid negative dicussions being initiated by consumers on their page. This seems to be an issue on the Telus YouTube channel. Based on my research, Telus appears to get their fair share of negative comments on social networks by consumers, so if they want to avoid similar issues that Nestle had with their FaceBook page, they probably made the right choice by not allowing others to iniative wall posts. Keep in mind though that the biggest issue with the Nestle case was the way that they handled the situation. However, Telus is allowing consumers to have a voice as as those who 'like' the Telus FaceBook page can add comments to posts initiated by Telus themselves. Because of the high level of negative comments, I think it is wise that Telus' Twitter strategy is to have a Twitter profile that is focused on marketing messages (@Telus) and one that focuses on providing consumers with support on Telus services (@TelusSupport). This allows @Telus to remain focused on their positive marketing messages, whereas the @TelusSupport deals with all the questions and complaints. However, I do find that the general @Telus account engages too little with the audience. I did a quick monitoring check and noticed that several people have posted about Telus' 'Like to give' campaign with a mention of @Telus. This means that Telus does not even have to monitor to be aware of the mention - these public mentions can be found right there in their Twitter profile. However, I have yet to see a 'thanks' sent out to any of those people, including myself. This is not the end of the world, but it would be a courteous act which would humanize the organization in the eyes of consumers. I would like to wish Telus and their chosen non-profit organizations the best of luck in reaching their goals with the 'Like to give' campaign. I am not a client of Telus, but their acts of generosity certainly catch my attention. If ever I am in the market to switch, Telus will at least be top of mind as part of my research. What else would you like to see Telus do to promote their 'Like to give' campaign on social networks? Stay in touch, Natalie Connect with me on the following networks: FaceBook, Twitter, LinkedIn
July 2, 2010
Pharma companies are starting to be brave enough to use FaceBook as an advertising medium to reach the Canadian market. This month, Bayer, Merck Serono, McNeil Consumer Healthcare and other healthcare organizations targeted me with FaceBook ads. An detailed analysis of the campaign surrounding the Real MS Voices ad (by Merck Serono and Merck) can be found here: Non-profit organizations continue to use FaceBook as an advertising avenue: Medical providers also use FaceBook advertising with the hope of finding new clients: Miscellaneous others: And a few healthcare-related ads that I spotted on my Yahoo account (all of which I believe would be ideal for promotion via social media advertising and other activities): Previous posts on FaceBook healthcare-related ads that targeted my FaceBook profile can be found here, here, here, here, here and here. This post is by no means an endorsement of any of the products or services depicted in the ads, nor is it a critique of the ads themselves. Stay in touch, Natalie Connect with me on the following networks: FaceBook, Twitter, LinkedIn —————————————————– To ensure that you receive all new updates to this blog, insert your e-mail address in the box in the top-right corner. Your e-mail will remain private and will not be shared with any third parties.
June 1, 2010
May was a busy month for new FaceBook healthcare-related ads ... well, at least it was on my FaceBook profile. The ads that stood out the most were the EpiPen ad (the 1st Canadian pharma FaceBook ad by King Pharmaceuticals) and the Ontario's Community Pharmacies ads (16 versions of the ad throughout the month). Previous posts on FaceBook healthcare-related ads that targeted my FaceBook profile can be found here, here, here, here and here.