J&J takes gastric band to YouTube, Facebook

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Johnson & Johnson's Ethicon Endo-Surgery, a medical device manufacturer, is pairing DTC outreach on YouTube and Facebook with an online clinical support tool for its Realize adjustable gastric band.

The YouTube channel went live on June 20, according to an Advertising Age report, and garnered over 10,000 channel views at press time, although viewership of the three testimonial videos on the channel averaged at around 400 views. The commenting function on the channel's videos has been disabled.

The “Realize my Success” clinical support tool for patients – an exclusive service offered to patients choosing the Realize band – offers advice to patients before and after bariatric surgery. Once a patient is signed up, the online program provides fitness plans, reminders, band-friendly recipes, and an option to share experiences with other patients, according to the website.

The Realize campaign follows an increase in promotional consumer efforts behind bariatric surgery as a way to not only lose weight, but also to combat diabetes. Last November, Covidien launched a website with testimonials and procedural details for potential patients.

That site, like Ethicon's Realize website, contains a bariatric surgery eligibility quiz and surgeon locator. In June, Covidien added Stacey Halprin, and actress and “frequent Oprah guest,” as a spokesperson for its “Our Resolution” campaign.

Ethicon's marketing team told AdAge that it does not have specific ROI goals for the YouTube channel, but views it as one part of a larger educational and marketing campaign.
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