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Review: PharmaFaceoff

We’ve had a good number of new on-line initiatives launching in pharma-world lately, which is a welcome development. A new kid on the block is PharmaFaceoff, a joint venture of Pharmaceutical Executive magazine and Concentric Pharma Advertising.

I took a look at the initial video – here are some first impressions:

The format is a high-quality video, featuring a moderator and several panelists, purportedly having a face-off about some relevant topic. The interface is clean, straightforward, and social-friendly. User comments are enabled. Immediate visual/user experience: positive.

Video production: nice. High-quality, hosted on Vimeo, multiple camera angles used. Panelist setup is clean and uncluttered. Perhaps not ready for a CNN newscast, but certainly many steps above an amateur YouTube production.

Bottom line: I like the idea very much. As for the initial session (which is really more of a discussion than a true faceoff), between Bruce Grant (Digitas), Jennifer Colapietro (PWC), and Michael Sanzen (Concentric) – well, it was fairly basic, and overloaded a bit with agency-speak. I’d call this first one PharmaFacetime for agency folks. Plus, the moderator, Barbara Ryan (Deutsche Bank) seemed tentative in her role. But, this is a new venture and you have to expect a shakedown period.

The approach has great potential, and kudos to PharmaExec for taking it on. A wider variety of speakers with truly differing viewpoints will be needed to make this a “sticky” destination, but let’s face it – video is where it’s at for on-line communications, and this is a great way to hash out some issues and gain needed exposure. I think there needs to be some clarity as to target audience (general public? pharma marketers?), and a clear commitment needs to be made either to nicely-controlled civilized discussions or genuine opinionated debate with a few flying sparks lighting things up. So we’ll see how it evolves. But overall, thumbs up for a creative inaugural flight!

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