In case you've been living in an underground bunker (or have been in bed with the flu) for the past two years, here's the scoop on YouTube: It is far and away the most popular video-sharing site on the Internet. Launched in the cofounder's garage in December 2005, YouTube has quickly become a ubiquitous part of the online experience. In November 2006, Google purchased YouTube, launching the site to even greater fame (and, to an extent, infamy).
Pete Dannenfelser, vice president for strategic innovation at Cadient, supervised the team that rolled out the campaign. He explains that strategic innovation "really is the driving force behind this program. It's applying innovation with a distinct and definitive goal as opposed to innovation for innovation's sake, which is at times one of the biggest challenges."
But Novartis and Cadient didn't simply open the floodgates to allow users to post anything they wanted in the official FluFlix video area, which also included a link to a Novartis-sponsored flu-education Web site, http://FluSource.com/. Mindful of the pitfalls associated with adverse-event reporting in the public Web space, they retained a system administrator to review every video submission.
Dannenfelser recalls, "There were a handful of videos that came through that were either inappropriate or that did not meet the criteria. If things came through that had nothing to do with the flu, it was quite all right for Novartis and our administration to pull the content." He adds, however, that for a targeted community to trust the sponsor, it is essential that the sponsor clearly lay out the ground rules in advance.
Novartis took further steps to ensure the safety of the campaign by requiring all entrants to be 18 years of age or older. In the end, 60 entries were approved for the contest, and a team at Novartis scored each video based on set criteria, including creativity and originality, content, and the persuasiveness of the message.