Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Pfizer boxershorts cause outrage (just not with doctors)

Having worked in a pharmaceutical company in Ireland I can tell you as a matter of fact that the marketing materials left with family doctors range from the boring (pens) to the more boring (post-its), with the occasional branded mug thrown in there to spice things up.

Then along came some enterprising individual in Pfizer Ireland who decided to make a truly original marketing piece, and now by the sounds of things he will be lined up against some wall and shot in the next while!

"This should not have occurred and only did so through the poor judgment of a Pfizer employee" state Pfizer, adding "A full internal investigation to ensure this type of incident does not occur again has already commenced", so something pretty awful must have happened right?

Well, to mark the tenth anniversary of the landmark drug Viagra's entry to the Irish market, a marketer in Pfizer Ireland HQ had the bright idea to send out boxershorts emblazoned with the company logo to family doctors in their database. According to Pfizer "We acted immediately to apologise for this error of judgment and to seek return of the item"... now is it just me or are they missing the boat on this one.

Firstly, they came up with an original piece of marketing, amidst a sea of post-its, pens and mugs, which doctors are bound to remember, more than the usual pathetic stuff doled out to them.
Furthermore the doctors seem to have enjoyed the gift, one doctor "hadn’t had such a good laugh at a time when there weren’t many opportunities to do so". Pfizer admit that as of yet "very few GPs have returned the freepost envelope"

Secondly the little stunt has got the story in the Irish Times, which also draws attention to 1. the fact its the 10th anniversary, and 2. that Viagara is the : "most commonly prescribed drug for the serious medical condition, which has a number of underlying causes including diabetes"... Free advertising anyone...

Brilliant innovative marketing idea, absurd (although perhaps feigned, if they are smart) corporate reaction.

1 comment:

Kev said...

My Dad got one a few days back. He saw the funny side of it.