Congratulations to Profero, but to #hcsmeucamp attendee and #hcsmeu stalwart Sam Walmsley in particular, for having won the Grand Prix and Best in Pharma for their In Bed campaign (website; YouTube channel) on behalf of Bayer Schering’s Levitra at last night’s Revolution Awards.
In my opinion, it was a creative, well executed campaign and fully deserved to take the laurels in a year when many digital agencies would appear to outsiders to have underachieved as they continue to struggle to convince pharma to embrace the extraordinary potential of new media to engage the constituencies they want to connect with.
That said, as a patient-facing initiative, I would deem the In Bed YouTube campaign to have been no more than moderately successful.
Despite the world-famous animation house Aardman of Wallace and Gromit fame – whose services doubtless do not come cheaply – having done a terrific job of bringing a tight story-board to life, and a well-coordinated promotional campaign, 7 of the 9 videos in the series only managed to attract an average of 1,365 views. Of the remaining videos, which were also the first and last in the series, the former has delivered 5, 149 views to date, the latter 124,372.
Whilst this pair of numbers looks healthier at first glance, they also point to the fact that the series lost around 75% of its viewers after the first episode, and demonstrates that as an attempt to cash in on the viral potential of any sex-themed video on YouTube, the final installment was a flop (no pun intended… well, maybe just a bit), producing only 4% of the average number of views in the current (NSFW) top 20 results on YouTube featuring ‘sex’ in the title (average views: 3,230,295).
In an industry still obsessed with metrics and returns on investment, does this constitutes a successful campaign to engage ED patients? Take out the number of viewers of the videos from the industry itself, and how many views are you left with? Will it encourage or dissuade clients from using YouTube in the future?
I would deem the physician-facing parallel campaign, In Bed Dr flat-out disappointing with its 60 – count ’em – uniformly boring (sorry, but they just are) talking head videos managing to elicit an average of seven views each. Again, how many of them were healthcare professionals? Is this a model for digital healthcare professional engagement?
Taking nothing away from Profero, one does have to ask on the basis of the above: who got more out of this campaign? The agency, or the brand that hired them?