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PharmaVOICE Editors' Blog

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

20 Greatest Social Media Campaigns - Where's Healthcare?




Dan Limbach


We've all seen buzzworthy advertising campaigns. We talk about them at the water cooler. We email them to friends. We Twitter them. As marketers, we revere them. But how come there are no blockbuster campaigns in the life sciences? Social media success and a word of mouth bonanza is not just for glamorous, hip products. If a blender company can do it, an office supplies company can do it, and a bottled water company can do it, why can't a life sciences company do it, too?

The Nasonex bee is kind of fun and creative, but definitely not buzzworthy. ED ads dance around the edges of being clever while not embarrasing, and some of the non-prescription ED ads are somewhat humorous, but they don't provide that magnificent boost we see in the best word of mouth campaigns. Why is this?

Just because an industry is regulated, doesn't mean it's taboo to create innovative campaigns that spread like wildfire. Buzzworthy campaigns do not rely primarily on ad spend. In some ways, huge ad budgets are viewed as the lazy way out. Without a doubt, word of mouth provides the most bang for your marketing buck.

Forbes recently posted a list of "Best-Ever Social Media Campaigns." While some campaigns are recent, others date back to the 90's. I'll bet you will still recall at least half of them. Some campaigns fall more under viral marketing, as they came before the social media explosion, but it's all part of the same general arena. We just have more ways to spread the word now.

Here is the list. Cut to the link below for imagery and a brief explanation of each campaign, including some jaw-dropping ROI stats.

1. The Blair Witch Project (Haxan Films)
2. Will it Blend (BlendTec) -- my personal favorite - pure simple genius
3. Smell Like a Man, Man (Old Spice)
4. Sunservient Chicken (Burger King)
5. Pepsi Refresh (Pepsi)
6. Fun Theory (VW)
7. Elf Yourself (OfficeMax) -- I personally used this one
8. Roller Babies (Evian)
9. Facebook Showroom (IKEA)
10. Hotmail (now under Microsoft)
11. Whopper Sacrifice (Burger King)
12. Bullseye Gives (Target)
13. Vitaminwater (Glaceau)
14. Tea Par-tay (Smirnoff)
15. Why So Serious? (The Dark Knight Movie)
16. Dynamite Surfing (Quiksilver)
17. Cadbury Gorilla (Cadbury Schweppes)
18. 1 Series Graffiti Contest (BMW)
19. Bing/Farmville (Microsoft)
20. Monk-e-Mail (CareerBuilder)

See full slide show with details on Forbes.com.

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