Monty Python Meets Pfizer UK

Last week, I had a post that discussed the lackluster use of YouTube by pharma.  My point was that the channels themselves are not very engaging or “social” in the way that social media is meant to be.  One reader pointed out in a comment, however, that there were some videos that have been produced that are being viewed by far larger numbers than most other industry-related videos.

I began looking around, and sure enough, found some videos that have had well over 100,000 viewings.  Pfizer’s UK channel, called PfizerUK – which was established two years ago in December 2008, has only 53 subscribers and only 2 videos posted.  However, the channel has had nearly 250,000 upload views and 4290 channel views.  The channel’s first video – and the Website to which the channel is connected – is aimed at raising awareness among the UK’s population about the dangers of bypassing the health system to obtain access to prescription medications.

But the latest video is quite a non sequitur, having nothing to do with that topic.  It isn’t clear why it is here – perhaps the channel is changing direction.  But whatever – is a great example of the point raised by my reader – while most of the channels are lacking direction, some of the videos reveal thought and creativity.  Here is one of them, from the PfizerUK channel that was put up only two weeks ago, but which has had over 29,000 viewings.

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4 Responses to Monty Python Meets Pfizer UK

  1. Andrew Spong says:

    Hi Mark

    It has been a while! Hope you’re well.

    I’ve been enjoying your recent reflections on Pharma’s use of YouTube as I’ve been working closely with @blogbrevity on this subject for the past six weeks or so in preparation for the publication of the launch @NexusNR report on precisely this subject.

    In the report, Andrew Widger (Director, Media Relations EMEA, Pfizer) remarks on the ‘Don’t be a Wilbert’ video ‘‘there is humour in this video for a purpose, and I hope it demonstrates the point that we are using social media where it is relevant to the audience, and where it offers a good way of getting the health message across”.

    As you point out, with the video having accrued 29,000 views in just a couple of weeks, both the approach and the concept appear to be amenable to the YouTube-viewing public :)

  2. Andy Widger says:

    Thanks for this post – a very good read. Glad you like the video!

    Just to clarify, the Pfizer UK YouTube channel is not an end in itself – but a ‘vehicle’ to deliver relevant videos related to specific campaigns.

    Take a look at our patient safety site http://www.realdanger.co.uk and men’s health site http://www.manmot.co.uk to understand how the videos fit into the broader health message.

    Hope this helps
    Andy, Pfizer.

  3. Doug Levy says:

    Interesting video. I’m not sure whether the British viewers have different habits, but the length of the piece limits its impact. I’ll give Pfizer some credit for trying something new as part of their overall campaign.

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