Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Big Pharma Goes Viral

Big Pharma Goes Viral


Published by Francis
July 17, 2007

It looks like Bayer has made the first real move into the viral space by any of the Big Pharma companies. They've built an interactive online game "sponsored by Aleve" that appears to be geared toward the social networking demographic - who are much younger than the traditional Aleve demo (50+ with arthritis) .

"[To] attract a younger customer, the consumer care division of Bayer HealthCare is starting an online game today for Aleve Liquid Gels, a product that was introduced in March. By visiting a Web site, www.aleviator.com, Internet users will be able to follow a fictional storyline that leads them through a series of clues, taking them in and out of social networking sites, wikis and blogs. (source: nyt)"

Upon completion, the user gets a mild product placement for Aleve and the news that Bayer will donate $5 to The Conservation Fund for every person that completes the game; thus encouraging viral spread without pandering.

Although the game is ridiculously easy (which may lessen its viral appeal) when compared to viral time burners like The Search For Bourne  and Ethan Haas was right , it shows that Big Pharma may be ready to get into the social media game. The question is: are the younger and more savvy (read:Web 2.0) consumers ready to join the social conversation with Big Pharma?

Feel free to weigh-in, in the comments.

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