Sunday, October 28, 2007

‘Healthentertainment’ and the mobile – two new marketing platforms

Hritik Roshan is a popular Indian film star who has abundant sex appeal and health.

Creating value and soft power (attraction power)

Marketing involves creating, communicating and delivering value to customers and managing relationships for mutual benefits. Marketing implies creating a culture around the products and services offered. For instance the coffee drinking experience at Café Coffee Day is not about drinking a cup of coffee alone, it is an augmented experience - a place to socialize with acquaintances. This is the culture of a café experience. Value delivery implies creating a culture.

This is the relevance of the soft power of a country – an acceptable component of a country’s culture. For instance, acupuncture and Chinese Traditional Medicine are not merely healthcare systems, but very much a part of the soft power of China. Thus, marketing or delivering value to the target audience based on the soft power of a country has the innate strength of playing on the cultural component and this makes the product more acceptable. The tea drinking culture of Japan is unique and thus herbal teas of Japan will have an edge as far as acceptance is concerned. Soft power based pharma or healthcare marketing has its own strengths.

Entertainment is an important component of the cultural mainstream in India

In India, films, songs, dance and TV sitcoms are a major source of entertainment. These are important threads of Indian culture. Thus, the opportunity lies bringing in the entertainment theme in healthcare marketing. The challenge however, is doing the same with out diluting the seriousness of the healthcare issue. So in essence:

‘HEALTHENTERTAINMENT’ is a marketing platform that uses entertainment themes in the marketing, communication and value delivery process for healthcare products (including pharma products).

The ’healthentertainment’ trend is a high potential marketing format

Film star endorsements for healthcare awareness campaigns are a very well known theme in marketing and communication activity. For instance, the famous appearance of film stars Amitabh Bachhan and Aishwarya Rai for the PULSE POLIO campaign is one example of healthentertainment. However, it is not that the above TV advertisement is entertaining – however, it has an entertainment theme in it (as film stars are endorsing the polio immunization drive).

So in essence health and pharma concepts are marketed based on components of entertainment culture - such as involving entertainment stars and other entertaining formats.

HEALTH ENTERTAINMENT MEDIA IS NOT NEW TO THE WORLD please click here This medium is dedicated to raising awareness and creating discussion on health and disease issues in an engaging and entertaining way.

In the FHMG segment Perfetii has generated a great message & highly entertaining TV advt. that is virally going around the internet too. The advt. is for the Happydent chewing gum that whitens and shines teeth. Please CLICK HERE.

In the core pharma sector it would have been beneficial and highly impacting to have involved film stars in the launch and promotion of sildenafil based brands. It would be interesting to have hot film star pairs talking on the importance of an aphrodisiac brand for enhancing husband – wife relationship. This promotional theme will definitely cause demand expansion and increased prescription flow for the aphrodisiac brand. For eg., a promotional theme in which, Kapikacchu and its effect in strengthening husband – wife relationship being discussed by say Dharmendra and Hemamalini (the same can be put in print, video and audio clips).

Mobile phones and the 'healthentertainment' formats converging for healthcare and pharma promotion

It is widely acknowledged that the mobile phone is the most persuasive of the marketing communication tools available in society today. Even more interesting is the fact that in China and India, internet-mobile penetration is more than broadband and is revolutionizing communication and information access. Already Airtel is positioning itself as an augmented mobile GSM service provider. Airtel helps you listen to 10,000 songs and use the Google search engine on internet. So Airtel is not just about mobile telephony. It is now reinventing itself as an augmented mobile service provider.

Now imagine the convergence of mobile phone service and healthentertainment marketing formats.

For eg., during the process of detailing the MR can play a 50 second audio or video clip on his mobile where a leading doctor shares his clinical opinion about the product. Or for that matter in the rocking growth segment of trichology and dermacosmetology a video clip of a leading dermatologist like Dr. Trashi treating a film star or model with a particular product can be played on the mobile as part of a persuasive approach of the MR. For that matter Mr. Narendran a colleague of mine has successfully used his mobile as a product promotional tool. Please CLICK HERE for more information.

In case, of pediatric products, 50 second video clips featuring child stars (both tele and film) using a multivitamin product on advice of a pediatrician can be shown on the mobile to the doctor being detailed to by the MR. This will obviously enhance in-clinic effectiveness and open a new medium for MRs to operate and persuade doctors very effectively.

Internet enabled mobile phones can play entertainment based healthcare podcasts mingling product messages to doctors. For eg., a doctor can sign up for a pharma company sponsored light ghazal song at exactly 10.00 pm every night. This will be played automatically by the GSM service provider on the mobile of the doctor, mingling the product message.

Thus, we see above some examples on how, the ‘healthentertainment’ and mobile marketing formats can synergize to augment healthcare or pharma product promotion in India (as entertainment is an important cultural thread of Indian society and the mobile has very high penetration, and the mobile is the most persuasive marketing tool today.)

This is my 54th blogpost, please do read all my earlier posts too, by clicking on older posts where necessary. Thnks and Godspeed. Sunil S Chiplunkar.

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