Most people think of virtual reality as an entertainment platform, but Aqua Pharmaceuticals’ virtual reality experience at the American Academy of Dermatology annual meeting in March had an educational goal. In this case, the specialty dermatology company reminded physicians what it’s like to be a teenager with compromised skin on high school photo day. The company also distributed Google Cardboard viewers and a url, picturedayvr.com, for the physicians to share back in their offices. The film is available on YouTube.
Aqua Pharmaceuticals is a division of Almirall, a Barcelona-based company that acquired the brand in 2013. The typical experience at its trade show booth centers on sales-focused technical product discussions, prescribing information and the results of clinical trials. “The VR experience was really to let the dermatology community know who we are and what we stand for. It moved the conversation to talking about the patient instead of just talking about the science,” says Jim Demaioribus, vp-marketing at Aqua Pharmaceuticals.
The short video taps into the dermatologists’ empathy for patients with skincare problems, portraying the woes of a teenager, self-conscious as she walks through the school halls, wondering who is noticing the flaws on her skin, aware of the unfriendly glances, double-takes and mean-spirited comments. VR also created some buzz for the brand. Just under 1,000 dermatologists and physicians’ assistants viewed the film, Demaioribus says.
“What we’re really trying to do is raise our profile as a company and establish our brand within dermatology. This was an early move in establishing that overall corporate brand as opposed to individual product brands,” Demaioribus says. Agency: The Marketing Arm, Dallas.