Thursday, December 23, 2004

Weird stuff doctors get from pharmaceutical representatives

Doctors get all sorts of weird little things from pharmaecutical representatives. I've gotten foam brains emblazoned with drug names; foam red blood cells with the Procrit logo; hats; all manner of pens, some shaped like various body parts (like bones, emblazoned with the logo of an orthopedic surgical supply manufacturer); all sorts of Beanie Babies and various plushes; a cup with a battery-powered stirrer; calendars; etc.

Perhaps no pharmaceutical company knick-knack is stranger than objects featuring a "superhero mascot" created by Fleet Pharmaceuticals and dubbed EneMan. (Yes, he is shaped very much like an actual Fleet enema.) EneMan is supposed to promote screening for colorectal cancer. How exactly he does this, I'm not sure, given that taking an enema before a Hemoccult test would probably cause false negatives. I guess it's supposed to remind people to get their sigmoidoscopies and colonoscopies, tests that do require a colon cleanout beforehand. Believe it or not, there are actually poor slobs out there who are hired to don an EneMan suit and go around promoting screening for colorectal cancer or pushing EneMan-related objects on doctors. I saw one of them myself at the American College of Surgeons Meeting in Chicago in 2003. I pity that guy. He did, however, give me some cool EneMan stuff.

I first discovered EneMan a couple of years ago, when Fleet Pharmaceuticals mailed me a calendar called EneMonths. These calendars are truly works of kitsch high art. The 2004 (or maybe it was the 2003) EneMonths calendar with EneMan was vaguely creepy, as many of the photos pictured EneMan with small children doing all sorts of "fun" things. (In fact, a couple of the photos were extremely creepy. One featured EneMan and a bunch of five or six year old kids, all with milk mustaches, the implications of which still haunt me to this day.) Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending upon how you look at it), I lost that calendar. The 2005 calendar features EneMan traveling the world. Perhaps I'll scan and post some pictures from it after the holidays. Over the last couple of years, though, they've started sending me EneMan Christmas tree ornaments every year, some of which are pictured above. (The one with the Santa hat and reindeer antlers is my favorite.) My wife wasn't too thrilled with my suggestion that we put a couple on the tree this year; so they sit on my shelf as pictured above. I also have an EneMan clock, which I forgot to take a picture of. One of my sisters thinks these things are hysterically funny and wants me to get them whenever I can. I'm usually happy to oblige.

I still don't understand how something like EneMan is good P.R. or sells enemas, though. I guess the minds of pharmaceutical company marketing people are still beyond me.

6 example(s) of insolence returned:


At 12/27/2004 12:41 PM, Blogger Saint Nate said...

I'm working on a roundup of the strangest pharmaceutical mascots, but I haven't heard of Eneman before now. He definitely deserves a place in the listings.

 

At 1/10/2005 8:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I came across your blog accidentally and couldn't believe the topic!! I ADORE eneman..as do the other nurse's in our office. We were so excited when the 2005 calenar arrived..we had no idea that eneman was multilingual!! Thanks for making my day!! DB from cincinnati

 

At 1/10/2005 8:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I came across your blog accidentally and couldn't believe the topic!! I ADORE eneman..as do the other nurse's in our office. We were so excited when the 2005 calenar arrived..we had no idea that eneman was multilingual!! Thanks for making my day!! DB from cincinnati

 

At 1/15/2005 1:06 PM, Blogger Epador said...

Just try to spend one week without using a pen, post-it or ruler without a company logo on it. Though difficult, it will be a freeing experience. It'll cost more out of pocket (but not much) and you may even have a freer conscience in the long run.

I'll meet with reps, even eat their donouts or lunches, but just as I don't like being a walking ad for clothes companies (now THAT takes extra effort), I try extra special hard to avoid marketing for pharmaceutical and DME companies.

 

At 8/20/2005 8:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I found your blog while searching for Eneman online- I got my picture taken with him at the mall and was looking for a picture of him to send to my parents until I could get my picture scanned. Just wanted you to know that he's really not the strangest mascot I've ever seen- I have a pharmacist friend who once gave me a Mr Colon as a gift- the mascot for colyte. Unfortunately I'm unable to find a picture online, but, he looks rather like a penis with a face. He's a pink, eight-inch squeeze toy which stands on a base. He's ribbed like a colon (presumably) and has this horrid little face etched into the front.
Wow, I have quite a lot of butt-related souvenirs.

 

At 12/12/2005 3:16 PM, Blogger Sarah G said...

I, too, have come across Mr. Colon. I recently used him in a gift exchange. My, what fun ensued!

Sarah G

 

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