Less is more – the key to success: interactive applications vs. films

Both interactive tablet applications and conventional films (incl. brand story, mechanism of action, mode of disease and study results) are very effective tools in their own right and both have their advantages and disadvantages.

There are several scenarios that lend themselves well to the use of interactive applications:

  • Presentations for congress booths
  • Tools that provide support in direct interaction with physicians or pharmacists (e-detailing)
  • Interactive sales tools, allowing access to all sales documents “at your fingertips” (product libraries)
  • A multi-media, interactive learning system for educating sales reps, translated into multiple languages (e-learning)
  • Tools providing helpful explanations or used as a diary for patients (medical application)

In itself, the list demonstrates how broad the spectrum for using interactive tablet applications is and that one interactive application differs from another. But what are the pros and cons of using interactive applications compared to conventional mechanism of action or brand story films?


Passive versus (inter)active

A good mechanism of action or brand story film presents its content in a specifically constructed didactic order, underlining the key message with this chain of reasoning. At the end of the video, the viewer has been shown all the relevant information. This approach may well be practical; however, the viewer of such a film remains a passive consumer of content.


By contrast, interactive applications are designed to turn the user into a participant who actively seeks out the relevant information. Through experience and exploration, any knowledge acquired is retained much better and for longer, thanks to the powerful emotional response involved. Ideally, the fascinating multi-media worlds impart knowledge almost effortlessly.


Technical hurdles

Apart from aspects of content, it should be noted that some training in handling the iPad will often be necessary before it can unfold its full potential in a sales visit. A good presentation will quickly fail if the presenting sales rep is a technophobe. In this case, technology gets in the way of human talent. Please keep in mind that sales are made by interactions between people and not just by interactions on the iPad.


Creating an integrated approach

The advantages of interactive iPad applications are mobility and instant readiness for use, both in presenting and in self-study. However tablet apps should always be in line with the overall strategy of the company. Therefore, implementing independent and focused short-term campaigns is more difficult. For this reason, particularly in markets with low or insufficient tablet presence, a short film about the relevant subject is the more sensible and economical alternative.


Effort involved in production

In general, it can be said that interactive applications are more complex to create and maintain, and thus are also more expensive. This statement, of course, depends heavily on extent and type of the interactive application. A complete overview can be seen in the full version PDF of this article.


Multiple use for a good ROI

Producing a mechanism-of-action or study video always requires familiarizing oneself with the medical contents, as well as creating suitable image universes that get these contents across in an easy-to-understand manner. In this aspect, the creation of interactive applications resembles that of films. Particularly if there is no pre-existing material, we would recommend starting with the production of a film, testing the contents and then going on to develop interactive applications, drawing on the image universes already created.

If you are interested in finding out more, please read the

from our Creative Director Thomas Frei about the advantages and disadvantages of interactive applications and mechanism of action films.

Should you have any comments or questions, please do not hesitate to use the comment function or to send us a personal e-mail. Alternatively, you can easily arrange a WebEx meeting with us to discuss your specific circumstances.