This banner ad in the on-line edition of the Wall Street Journal is a good example.
The ad is meant to be context sensitive. In other words, it is displayed only when the click-through pattern of the user shows an interest in healthcare. Depending on the page that the user is viewing, the video, featuring Mark Fishman, M.D., is played directly in the current window or in a separate window. In the latter case, the browser is redirected to the Novartis web site. After watching the video, the user is given other choices for getting more information about Novartis and its products.
One piece of technology used by Novartis comes from a company called PointRoll and is meant to control the behavior of the banner ad itself. According to the its web site, "PointRoll offers a solution to the poor performance of the standard banner – a suite of products and services that allows agencies, advertisers and publishers to deliver user-friendly, online ads that engage their target. Effectively bringing a mini-web site to the user without requiring a click. Interactive features such as streaming video, polling, instant e-mail, data collection and more can easily be used by marketers to deliver ads that build their brand and drive their sales."
You can view at least 18 different display ads for various pharmaceutical products on the PointRoll web site. Click here to go there and then select Pharmaceuticals from the "View By Ad Industry" pull-down menu.
Seeing this ad triggered some thoughts related to the tattered reputation of the industry within the population at large.
It is important for individual companies to remind consumers of the work they are doing to improve health and the quality of life. This Novartis ad is a good example of this. No products are being promoted and there are no apparent hidden agendas.
Unfortunately, I am not seeing enough collaborative effort by the industry as a whole to improve public perception. The PhRMA, in my view, does little along these lines and the campaigns that they do create seem to be largely ineffective. Why this is the case is not clear.
Perhaps getting each of the member companies to agree to a creative and forceful message is impossible to achive. Maybe the organization lacks the proper resources to mount an effective campaign. Perhaps the idustry is out of touch with the public at large and does not even know what the perceived issues are.
From where I sit, something proactive and decisive needs to be done.