Healthcare Check Genetics 1

Social Health Check #3

Brought to you by our New York, London and Hong Kong Social@Ogilvy teams, this is our monthly snapshot of the latest news and trends in healthcare social media. The aim is to inspire ideas, discussion and fresh thinking in this challenging yet ever exciting field.

Genetic Data + Gaming = Cancer Treatments

What do you get when you put geneticists, Google, Facebook, gamers and mobile specialists in a room together for 48 hours?  Cancer Research UK’s Gamejam! The Gamejam aims to develop a fun, social game so that consumers can help scientists analyze millions of pieces of genetic information that can point to potential new cancer treatments. At the end of the 2-day Gamejam, developers had produced 9 complete games and 12 prototypes for testing, and one game will go into production.  You can follow the progress in Cancer Research UK’s Science Blog.


Give pharma brands a voice

“Cinnamon rolls are good. Cinnamon rolls followed by #TUMSRolls are perfection.” It’s easy to imagine some greasy-fingered staffer tapping out this message for @TUMStweets, the twitter account of GlaxoSmithKline’s antacid. And perhaps this human touch helps explain why the brand has nearly 9,000 Twitter followers. “Person to person communication is the essence of social sharing. Voice and tone is what engages people,” explains Chris Cullmann, a digital strategist with Ogilvy CommonHealth. Of course it would be inappropriate to enliven most prescription brands’ feeds with such breezy personas. But there are other personalities that pharma companies can adopt online—health mentor, trusted expert, compassionate friend. Letting KOLs tweet under their own name and enlisting celebrities to speak about campaigns are other ways that pharma companies can use social media in a way that is more truly social.


Grouping Health Discussions on Facebook

There are a number of changes to Facebook’s news feed, namely more feeds and control, larger photos and mobile consistency. One in particular that is rumored to happen is the integration of the hashtag feature. This feature, similar to Twitter’s hashtag, would index like-conversations into trending topics. While this does open up regulatory issues, with the new graph search, this also opens up Facebook consumer discussions to healthcare marketers and can prove useful in understanding how they discuss health issues on the platform.

Global Mom Relay

A global online relay was started on March 8th and will last for 60 days with an aim to help improve the health of mothers and children all over the world.  Mothers will unite online to share stories of inspiration and motherhood, as well as offer advice.  Everyone is encouraged to post a comment to join in the conversation, and every time a story is shared via Facebook or Twitter, a donation of $5 is automatically made to one of four relevant causes. The Relay was created by the United Nations Foundation, Johnson & Johnson, BabyCenter, The Huffington Post, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. It’s a great example of using social media to break down geographical and social barriers to unite people and fight for an important cause, as well as inspiring and educating people around the world.

Bring Your Cigarette Pack to Life

Health warning: This pack of cigarettes will erupt in a puff of smoke!   On No Smoking Day, UK smokers who “Blipped” their packet of cigarettes saw it disappear in a cloud of digital smoke.  The British Heart Foundation rolled out a campaign with Blippar to show smokers how much money they could save by giving up the habit.  The Blippar code transformed the standard government warning on each pack of cigarettes into images of what smokers could buy instead of cigarettes.  It is the first time the technology was used in a health campaign and it was anticipated that the “wow” factor will encourage smokers to share it with other smokers.

Here’s a compelling campaign by Ogilvy & Mather Bangkok titled Smoking Kid, which is part of our Best of Ogilvy Volume 4 collection.


Interactive Storytelling Mobile apps can take the traditional storytelling and make it more interactive. For healthcare, they can help consumers live a healthier life. With mobile phones now the No. 1 device for consuming media for many consumers in Asia Pacific, it is increasingly important for brands in Asia to tap into health & wellness apps to engage with customers. Of course, regulation is important but if done strategically, the potential is endless: from facilitating collaboration among physicians, resourcing providing to patient education and more.

Like to hear more? Get in touch to discuss all things healthcare social media.