The Web Video (R)evolution - Pharmaceutical Executive


The Web Video (R)evolution

Pharmaceutical Executive

Web Video in the Real World

Consider Bristol-Myers Squibb's "Prevailers" campaign, which promoted the brand to a wider audience, from financial analysts to industry journalists. Largely a consumer ad drive distributed on TV, BMS also carried the content online at, reaching any visitor to the company's Web site. The collection of videos features stories from cancer and AIDS survivors, as well as others who have faced serious debilitating conditions. The stories, told by the patients themselves speaking directly to the camera, express emotion and sincerity. The end goal of these videos is twofold: first, to inspire any viewer, whether he or she is a consumer, an employee, or some other type of influencer; and second, to increase awareness of the impact Bristol Myers-Squibb has on patients' lives. The effect on the viewer is powerful and memorable.

In another example, Bausch & Lomb used Web video in crisis management, after recalling a contact lens solution with possible links to eye fungus. Instead of a generic press release, visitors to the company's home page found a video featuring CEO Ronald Zarrella speaking directly to the issue, detailing the steps being taken by the company, and providing information on where consumers could turn with questions. This approach put a human face on the issue (a face happened to belong to the person with the most control in the situation.) JetBlue airlines took a similar approach after its planes were stuck on runways for many hours in 2007. In both cases, Web video enabled the company's chief executive to express concern and offer solutions with greater emotion, sincerity, and clarity.

Employee and Sales Force Development

For any large corporation, it's a challenge to keep employees up-to-date and engaged in the latest corporate messages. Web video enables an "always-on" network that can reach employees at their desks, on the road, or even in their homes. Private video intranets are beginning to replace cumbersome satellite systems, which can be expensive, and where viewership is difficult to measure. In addition, Web-based video solutions can cost up to 10 times less than satellite, content is available both live and on-demand, and all usage metrics can be tracked. Furthermore, most employees already use the intranet on a regular basis, so adding video is an enhancement they can easily adopt. Web video can also be delivered in multiple languages, all from the same Web page.

Pharmaceutical sales forces are particularly well-suited for Web video; they're young and well-versed in interactive media, and they are in constant need of information from headquarters. With Web video, they can hear directly from management or subject-matter experts in preparation for field calls. Web video solutions also include podcasts and other downloadable formats that can be viewed off-line and even shared with physicians.

The Cutting Edge: What's Next?

Envision a scenario where patients are able to find concise explanations of chronic disease management, such as what to expect when starting a new treatment regimen. This information can be delivered directly by a world class physician—or better yet, by a fellow patient who has gone through the same experience. This would bring new depth to both branded and non-branded drug Web sites.

Looking ahead, Web video will enhance and expand the communication between all constituents in the healthcare product chain. Physicians can hear from their peers and other experts; salespeople can tune in to this conversation and increase their level of expertise; eDetailing can include a personal message from the salesperson, conveying more than any brochure alone could; Web video can be combined with contextual links, each clip offering supporting Web page links, related PDF documents or PowerPoint slides, and other calls to action. It goes way beyond just watching a clip—Web video lets the viewer react and engage. And all of this rich content is searchable, bloggable, and easy to share with others. In the future, video will be the ultimate corporate knowledge base.

Matt DeLoca is senior vice president at The FeedRoom, Inc. He can be reached at


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