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Case Study: How Drupal is Helping the Medical Advertising Community

by Dave Terry
July 22, 2009

We recently completed a relatively small, but really cool Drupal v6 microsite that exemplifies to me how open-source is impacting traditional advertising channels (i.e. print, TV, radio, etc.). Unfortunately, the website ( is for invite only guests, but works similarly to other messaging chats you have probably seen online. Our collaborators on the project, Shaw Science Partners and Turner Studios, are two Atlanta based organizations with world-class reputations in their respective fields. Shaw is one of the leading pharmaceutical marketing agencies in the world, and work closely with prominent thought leaders in the medical community. Turner Studios is a subsidiary of Turner Entertainment Group (TEG) and provides turnkey services for film, video, and audio production.

The project involved helping Shaw take a pharmaceutical product to launch via a series of webcasts that are hosted by doctors and discussed live with invited users (nothing quite like a live, interactive broadcast!). The doctor facilitates questions and answers, while explaining product benefits to curious guests. The more archaic way of marketing a new drug or medication usually involves a pharmaceutical representative going to a doctor’s office and handing out samples or pleading to get a few minutes of time. However, the webcast with Drupal model allows for real-time discussion and in-depth product overview chats with the medical community in the convenience of your home or office.

The Drupal advantages were obvious from the beginning even after several external options were discussed. To summarize, the cost of ownership was significantly lower, the deadlines were sensitive, certain features need to be customized, and site hosts needed a user-friendly layout. In short, we were able to blend a specific recipe of modules at a cost that did not involve any type of licensing fees that a proprietary based solution would require.

The most beneficial module was Comments (Drupal core), and more specifically AJAX Comments. This module allowed for webcast attendees to submit questions in real time to the webcast host doctor. The producer moderates the questions and the host answers the approved questions. This is all happening in real time and Drupal makes it possible. You can read a more in-depth sampling of the modules we utilized in our Neurowebcast development case study.

This real world example shows how Drupal’s extensive library of modules is helping innovative agencies like Shaw Science Partners change with the times. If you are a creative/design/PR type agency solely relying on non-digital ways to reach targeted audiences than you are missing out on the benefits of what an open-source content management system (CMS) like Drupal can offer your customers. If you’d like to further discuss how a webcast series like this could help your firm then do not hesitate to contact us today.


Meet team member, Dave Terry

In Dave's role, he leverages a wide acumen of business and entrepreneurial experience to execute operational objectives. Dave plays a key role in forging strategic partnerships, developing efficient processes, recruiting top talent, and the acquisition and management of enterprise-level accounts.

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