Thursday, May 14, 2009

Pharma Battles for Animal Lover's Attention with Social Media Tools

Last year Pfizer Animal Health launched a widget that allows people to display their horse in a picture frame on their desktop. Users can also get their local weather, fly risk and loads of horse trivia to "make them smarter at the next horse show", according to the widget's description.

The initiative is intended to help promote Pfizer Animal Health's "feed-through fly control" product Solitude IGR™. Since launch the widget has been downloaded over 5,000 times. 20 users have collectively given the widget 4 out of 5 stars – and comments tend to be generally positive. That said, there is one BIG catch. The widget requires that you have Yahoo! Widgets already installed on your computer. Of course, if you don’t have it, you can install it – but do we really need another application?

My personal opinion: doesn’t it make more sense to launch this type of "widget" on a social media platform like facebook? For example, Merck/Merial’s “Healthy Pet Center” facebook application lets you do pretty much the same thing as Pfizer’s widget, except it’s not just for horses and you can share it with your facebook friends with one click.

The application is also linked to a facebook page where you can get more information on the "Pet Health Manual", the best-selling consumer book which this application is promoting. In addition, people can submit videos as well as view other people's photo-frames. Personally, I believe this approach makes more sense. But then again, I might be biased since we worked on this project ;) You decide for yourself.

Pfizer’s Frame-Your-Horse Widget
Merck/Merial's "Healthy Pet Center" facebook Application

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Which approach do you feel makes more sense? Click here to vote:

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