Does reactive advertising have a place in pharma?

Let’s set the scene…

It’s February 3rd 2013 and the greatest show on earth – the Super Bowl – is in full swing when, a few minutes into the second half, the lights go out.

The Baltimore Ravens eventually went on to win the game, but with a global audience of over 160 million, social media was in overdrive during the 34 minute power-outage and, during this small window of opportunity, one brand also ‘won the Super Bowl’ with an ingenious piece of reactive advertising on twitter.


Designed, captioned and approved within minutes, it was retweeted 10,000 times within an hour. This impressive demonstration of quick thinking made headlines following the game and went on to earn over 500 million impressions – at a relatively negligible cost. Incidentally, Oreo’s ‘official’ thirty second Super Bowl commercial, at a cost of a cool $4 million, wasn’t quite as impactful.

This is a great little anecdote of how hugely effective reactive advertising can be.

I saw another superb example on the tube recently from Carlsberg, parodying the ‘Are you beach body ready?’ ads that caused a storm in the media and stirred up a national debate around feminism.


This got me thinking. Can this be done in pharma?

Spotting these opportunities is easier said than done. The pharma world doesn’t quite lend itself to this as well as consumer does given the strict regulatory code and general reluctance to stick one’s neck out for fear of incurring the wrath of the ABPI.

Not to mention it would be a pipe dream to think that something could be created and (more to the point) approved within the short space of time that Oreo managed to get their tweet out.

But surely there’s inspiration to be taken here?

Next time something breaks in the news that relates to one of your brands or a competitor is treading dangerously close to the line, spare a moment to think if there’s an opportunity to react.



Have your say here...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s