Educating On Erectile Dysfunction In Hong Kong
Today, the Wall Street Journal reported on an interesting marketing campaign implemented by Bayer in Hong Kong for its anti-impotence medication Levitra. Bayer faced two obstacles to driving uptake of its medication in this market:
1. Direct-to-consumer advertising is not allowed in Hong Kong
2. Men are unwilling to discuss this issue with their doctors or acknowledge they have it.
To overcome these obstacles, Bayer’s public relations agency, Golin Harris, created an advertising campaign that made light of the problem without mentioning the brand name. According to the Journal:
“Part of the humor is that the ads leave embarrassing words and ideas up to innuendo and pun. Instead of mentioning erectile dysfunction specifically, most of them simply feature a photo of a limp, hot-dog-shaped balloon. One features a satisfied customer wearing a Superman costume with the ‘S’ on his chest replaced by the Chinese word for ‘upright.’ That character also happens to be the first in Levitra's Chinese name.”
The campaign has been a great success. Sales of Levitra have increased by 244% and Bayer spent $190,000 on the campaign. To view an advertisement, please see the image below.
Talking About Life With HIV/AIDs
Ignite Health, an advertising agency, has developed an innovative HIV/AIDs educational campaign, “Live With It”, which features a number of interesting elements. At the heart of the campaign is a dark and gritty animated cartoon series that focuses on how people are living with the disease. Ignite Health’s chief innovation officer told Pharmaceutical Executive:
“The reason we chose [to make a dramatic cartoon] was because pharmaceutical, company-based, corporate-based education is always trying to show people that are enjoying sort of a freedom of lifestyle—that now because of these therapies they can smile and they can walk on the beach. We wanted to focus on a message that was a little bit more dramatic. And when you do drama, it requires tension; it requires a little bit of intrigue and mystery, and a little bit of drama in essence."
Live With It is more than just a cartoon, Ignite Health has integrated a number of social media communications tactics into the campaign that have helped it spread. Most notably:
- Ignite Health has created a number of Myspace blogs for characters in the cartoon series. Click here to view one of them.
- The company has developed an online bulletin board that people are using to discuss the campaign and related issues. (Click here to access it.)
- Campaign videos are posted on the video sharing Website You Tube (click here to view one).
Ignite’s campaign is sponsored in part by Gilead, which makes the HIV treatment Truvada. An unbranded “reminder” advertisement for the drug appears at the beginning of the videos. Viewers are asked to click through to the product’s Website to learn more
See the image below for an image from the campaign.
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