'Happy Feet' benefit Tamiflu treatment

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Roche dipped a webbed foot into entertainment industry partnerships with a tie-in to the animated penguin romp “Happy Feet” that stands to benefit its Tamiflu treatment.

The company's Flu Facts campaign features characters from the movie, in print, TV, online and banner ads that direct viewers to  www.flufacts.com. Ads for the campaign were handled by InVentiv's GSW, online was executed by Avenue A|Razorfish.

While movie tie-ins are old hat for consumer goods makers, the partnership is a likely first for a pharmaceutical company.

“Our goal is to join the public health community in raising awareness about how Americans can minimize the incidence of seasonal flu, which brings significant health and economic burdens to the country each year,” said Mike McGuire, Roche VP, anti-infectives.

The campaign includes  TV ads airing on all the major networks. Print ads are running in magazines including Fitness, Family Circle and Martha Stewart Living. Banners will also appear in movie theaters and airports.

The campaign is not Roche's first innovative online effort for Tamiflu. In the branded arena, Roche has, for the past several years, sponsored the Tamiflu Desktop Flu Tracker, a downloadable device featuring animated characters and a map showing current rates of flu prevalence across the US.

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