"Lab Marketing Update"

Mickey Mouse to Educate Kids About Allergy Lab Test Options

THIS MAY BE A FIRST IN LABORATORY TEST SALES AND MARKETING! Mickey Mouse will star in a new children’s book designed to educate children and parents about diagnosis and management of allergies.

This unique marketing campaign is the brainchild of Siemens Healthcare and Walt Disney Corporation. The book is called Mickey and the Giant Kachoo! It features Disney character Mickey Mouse and explains how blood testing can help identify allergies.

Disney and Siemens plan to distribute the book to physicians and pathologists. In turn, they would make it available to parents and children.

Siemens Healthcare is using the Mickey Mouse book as part of a larger marketing campaign to promote wider use of its 3gAllergy tests. These assays were introduced in 2002 and can be run on the company’s IMMULITE immunoassay systems.

Mickey and the Giant Kachoo! is intended to show how the use of blood tests can be used to detect allergies without the child having to undergo the unpleasant scratch or skin prick allergy testing process. From this perspective, the book is aimed at informing parents that they have other options for allergy testing which don’t involve the unpleasant scratch/skin prick testing procedure.

This project is one aspect of a “12-year strategic technology and marketing alliance” initiated in
2005 by Siemens and Disney. This includes Siemens’ sponsor- ships of certain attractions at Walt Disney Resort World in Orlando, Florida.

Mickey and the Giant Kachoo! is another aspect of the Siemens-Disney alliance. It involves the use of Disney characters to educate children about health issues.

For pathologists and lab executives, this new laboratory test marketing campaign shows how consumer-directed advertising will play an important role in helping in vitro diagnostics (IVD) companies expand the market demand for their laboratory test products.

It also is an early and innovative demonstration of how collaborative marketing can benefit both IVD manufacturers and clinical laboratories. This campaign is based on the assumption that educating parents about another allergy testing option besides the scratch/skin prick test panel will increase demand for a lab test that is less painful for the child without sacrificing diagnostic accuracy.

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