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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 The site looks a little outdated (customer comments all date from 2003 and the special offer that is promoted is no longer available), so promoting their social media activities may not be a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
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.
May 18, 2010
Most people think of social media as a marketing tool, but it can be useful to achieve all sorts of objectives, including lobbying. The Ontario's Community Pharmacies have leveraged several social media tactics for lobbying purposes, and they are focusing on mainstream sites. If you live in Ontario and have visited your FaceBook profile during the months of April and May, there are good chances that you would have noticed an ad stating that 'Your Pharmacy is at Risk'. In fact, during this period, I noticed at least 15 different versions of this ad. The copy was always the same, but the image was different. See all the ads that appeared on my personal FaceBook profile and ad board below; On May 17, I noticed a similar ad, but with a more dramatic header: "Danger for Local Pharmacy". I only saw this ad once and it seemed to have disappeared thereafter, having been replaced by the ads with the original header. I only saw this particular ad once, as the ads appeared to have quickly reverted back to the original header. In fact, all of the ads seemed to have disappeared completely sometime during the week of May 17th. When you clicked on the ads, they linked to StopCuts.ca, a website by Ontario’s Community Pharmacies (which, by the way, contains a lot of similar content as what appears on the official Ontario's Community Pharmacies website). The website, and associated social media tactics (RSS, FaceBook, Twitter, YouTube, and several methods to contact the government), were initiated as a strategy to counteract the threat of governmental cuts to community health care. This post is not meant to promote nor discredit the strategic objectives of the lobbying campaign, but rather to look at the social media components that make up the campaign. Ontario's Community Pharmacies has a rather popular FaceBook page, with 14,892 fans (`likes`) as of May 25 2010. The FaceBook page seems to be rallying a lot of support from pharmacists and consumers ready to lobby the government. The wall of the page is loaded with comments from supporters providing each other with tips and resources to assist with the lobbying activities and events. The group also has a Twitter account with the username "ONPharmacies", which has 325 followers and is listed 8 times as of May 25 2010. The discussion and chatter is constant and abundant on the FaceBook page, but it seems to be non-existent on the Twitter account. There is a hashtag for #stopcutsdotca, but when you look at the real-time usage of this hashtag, it seems to be almost solely used by the ONPharmacies account. This could be because Canadians, in general, have lagged in the adoption of Twitter. And finally, there is a YouTube channel which boasts 31,346 views of all their videos since the channel was created on January 10 2010. According to a quick calculation, there have been approximately an average of 265 views of the Ontario Community Pharmacists' videos on a daily basis (but I'm sure there were peak periods when large lobbying activities were taking place, and lull periods in between). To find out if Ontario's Community Pharmacies had any blogger outreach as part of this campaign, I searched IceRocket.com's blog section to see if there were any blogs that either mentionned the organization's name, or linked to the StopCuts.ca website. This search demonstrated that during the months of April and May, 9 blogs had covered a story that either included the organization's name or linked to their website. The low number of blogs that included an article about the organization, as well as the fact that the blog posts ranged within a 2-month period, suggests that there was no active blog outreach as part of this campaign. This may have been a supportive tactic, but I think the group's outreach has been very effective on FaceBook and YouTube, therefore they are probably better off to continue focusing on these two venues. The one question that I am left with is whether most followers and fans of the Ontario's Community Pharmacies' groups are pharmacists and their employees, or whether there is a large consumer group rallying behind the Ontario's Community Pharmacies in support of their cause. Based on the type of comments written on the FaceBook wall, my guess is that it is the former (but this group may just have been the most vocal). Either way, it is amazing to see a bunch of people who feel very passionately about a topic gather and communicate together in an open online forum. 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.
May 13, 2010
A brave Canadian pharmaceutical company has taken the plunge and is giving FaceBook direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising a try. King Pharmaceuticals has been promoting its EpiPen.ca website via the following English and French FaceBook ads: The call-to-action is to take the allergy risk test, but it appears as though the main objective of the site itself is to introduce the new EpiPen and EpiPen Jr (0.3 and 0.15 mg epinephrine) Auto-injectors ("EpiPen") to Canadian consumers and healthcare professionals. Both the FaceBook ads and the site are DTC advertising. Although King Pharmaceuticals launched the new EpiPen and EpiPen Jr Auto-Injectors on April 14 2010, I first noticed the FaceBook ad on Monday May 10th 2010. Of course, it is possible that the ad was launched sooner and that it just came to my attention later. Can a prescription Rx brand copy this social media model? EpiPen falls under “ethical pharmaceuticals” in the regulatory system. However, it is not a schedule F product (prescription required for sale). Therefore, section c01.044 of Canada's Food and Drug Regulations Act (which limits pharmaceutical DTC advertising to only product name, price, quantity) does not apply. To promote a prescription product (Schedule F) in a FaceBook ad (DTC), only the product name, price and quantity would be allowable because it is a public direct-to-consumer placement. Since the PAAB approves campaigns as a whole, this would also apply to any website that the FaceBook ad would link to. For more information about Canadian regulatory requirements for prescription products promoted in social media, see Highlights from “Social Media Marketing in Pharma: What Works in Canada" or contact Patrick Massad at the PAAB. If you are interested in learning more about Canadian regulatory guidelines for other types of healthcare products, you might like this article. Is this the first Canadian pharma ad on FaceBook? As far as the ads that I have seen on my personal FaceBook profile, this is the first one that I have seen from a Canadian pharmaceutical company. There may have been others. I might have missed them, or perhaps I was not part of the target market for the ad. So unless somebody tells me otherwise, I do believe that this is the very first branded FaceBook ad by a Canadian pharmaceutical company. In fact, I have not seen an unbranded FaceBook ad by any Canadian pharma companies. I you know of others, then please share in the comments section. Is the FaceBook ad driving traffic to the EpiPen.ca website? Since the EpiPen FaceBook ad seems to have the objective of driving unique visitor traffic to the EpiPen.ca website, it is reasonable to track traffic to the site as an ROI measurement. As an outsider, I will use data from Alexa and Compete. The following data and snapshot were taken on May 12 2010:
- Alexa traffic rank as of May 12 2010 is 1,562,812
- Alexa traffic rank in Canada is 27,244.
- 1,177 monthly unique visitors to the website in February 2010.