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A wicked social media initiative by McNeil Consumer Healthcare (Division of Johnson and Johnson)

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FaceBook and Online Healthcare-Related Ads (June 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

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FaceBook Healthcare-Related Ads (May 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.

    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

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    Angry Pharmacists Turn to Social Media for Lobbying

    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

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    The 1st Canadian Pharma Ad on FaceBook?

    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.

    In a few months, I’ll take another look at the data from these two sources to see if the website gets a peak in their traffic.  This could create some interesting discussion.  Stay tuned !!

    Congratulations to King Pharmaceuticals for taking this innovative step.

    Stay in touch,
    Natalie

    Connect with me on the following networks:
    FaceBook, Twitter, LinkedIn

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    FaceBook Healthcare-Related Ads (April 2010)

    Here are some of the new FaceBook healthcare-related ads that were targeted to my profile during the month of April. Several of those that I have posted previously are still appearing, which makes one assume that the advertiser must be satisfied with the outcome (but that’s only a guess).

    Previous posts on FaceBook healthcare-related ads:

    • from Mar 8-21 2010 here
    • from Feb 19 to Mar 7 2010 here
    • from Feb 6-18 2010 here
    • from Jan 25 to Feb 5 2010 here

    You will notice that the ads no longer have the mention “Become a fan” below, as FaceBook has switched this to “Like”.  If you want to learn more about this recent FaceBook change, take a look at this article by Mashable which also contains a document from Facebook explaining the change.

    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.

    Feel free to critique any of these FaceBook healthcare-related ads in the comments section.


    Stay in touch,
    Natalie

    Connect with me on the following networks:
    FaceBook, Twitter, LinkedIn

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    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.


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