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Falling for digital

Lyn Wallace, director at Wallace HCL, takes a look at pharma's relationship with digital

An @ symbol made to resemble a heartAfter several years of flirtation, the pharma sector has at last taken the plunge into a serious relationship with digital. 

The problems of compliance still surround this medium, but experience is everything and internet first timers should take the hand of a seasoned agency who will be able to help turn their ideas into a brilliant piece of digital work.

To illustrate the point, we've found some examples of digital excellence from the world of pharma. I compiled this little list with the help of the new man in our life who will shortly be joining Wallace as head of digital. At the time of going live, the appointment was too soon to announce, but we hope the news when it eventually comes out, will have a few hearts racing. Watch this space...


LIVING WITH ADHD – YouTube channel 

This YouTube channel from Janssen-Cilag has been developed to explore what it's like to live with ADHD and tackles some of the most common issues surrounding this condition.

We love the fact that it's clean, simple and easy to follow with excellent use of graphics that are engaging but not patronising. The fact that it is fast paced and dynamic will appeal to ADHD viewers so it really scores on an empathetic level.

Overall, it has the potential to engage with all audiences, sufferers, HCPs and media and begin to create a new level of understanding about this condition into the future.

For more information, see the PMLiVE story 'Viral film campaign raises ADHD awareness'.

Cartoon of a diamond ring

Conclusion: Definitely a long lasting marriage


AZ QUEST  — iPhone app

Launched in January 2011, AstraZeneca's Quest app is designed for use by HCPs working in the cardiovascular disease (CVD) area and contains hundreds of research papers all accessible at touch of a button.

Obviously designed for doctors on the move, we love the fact that doctors can search through papers anytime, anyplace and it's very simple to use with no fluff. Best feature is the frequent news updates from the cardiovascular field.

There is potential to really progress this tool as a means of building relationships with doctors. No doubt AstraZeneca are eager to see the early feedback but it feels like a success already.

AstraZeneca's AZ Quest iPhone app


Conclusion: early days, but has the potential to blossom

  Cartoon of pair of hands holding each other


Genzyme's Calcified Heart HCP page

Genzyme's Calcified Heart site was developed as an interactive tool to attract healthcare professionals to a stand at a conference. It is very short and to the point and uses strong imagery and augmented reality to explain a new technology. It is a little gimmicky, however, it does the job which is to highlight the benefits of visual imaging in this kind of mode of action – often the most effective digital projects are the simplest. If there was anything at all to dislike then it could perhaps be easier to navigate, but overall we love it – as did the judges at the recent PM awards who gave it a rosette.

  A cartoon bikini

Conclusion: The perfect summer romance – short and sweet, but brilliant whilst it lasts


MANMOT — Consumer healthcare website

Pfizer's ManMOT claims to be the first online surgery and using a digital channel to encourage men (who are often reluctant to go the doctor) to discuss their embarrassing health problems with a doctor at an online surgery. It is well laid out, easy to navigate and has interactive elements such as a health quiz.

Overall a great idea, but the slight disappointment is that the surgery is only available on Monday, which means that the website isn't very helpful for the chaps who develop a rash on any other day of the week.

However, we think it's such a great idea that we are prepared to stick with this website and hope that its future success will enable Pfizer to add more surgeries.

For more information, see the PMLiVE story 'Pfizer launches online men's health clinic'.

Pfizer's manMOT page


Conclusion: Could be a bit of a one night stand

A cartoon cocktail glass

TAKE A BENYLIN DAY — Facebook app

Benylin's Facebook app

Last time Wallace did an Ad Lib we were quite rude about Benylin so I'm delighted to say that we LOVE, LOVE, LOVE their Facebook app!

This Facebook app is designed to help you tell everyone when you have a cold and garner as much sympathy as you can from your friends. It is very interactive, has great functionality and includes some really novel features such as press articles about your cold which you can post to your Facebook wall.

It almost makes you want to have a cold and we think there should be more apps like it. Of course, it uses social media which is still seen as a 'no go' area for many pharma companies, but we should point out that it is designed predominantly for Canadian users. 

 Cartoon of a bunch of roses

Conclusion: Our true valentine.
P.S. Are we forgiven? ...



Lyn Wallace, director, Wallace HCL

The Author
Lyn Wallace is director at Wallace HCL

To comment on this article, email 

Ad Lib is a creative critique and does not take into account the marketing objectives behind the campaigns reviewed. 



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24th February 2011


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