GREAT MOMENTS IN MARKETING: THE ENEMAN
Ora Knows - Doctors get all sorts of weird little things from pharmaceutical 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. (shaped very much like an actual Fleet enema.) EneMan is supposed to promote screening for colorectal cancer. . . 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.) The 2005 calendar features EneMan traveling the world. Over the last couple of years, though, they've started sending me EneMan Christmas tree ornaments every year. 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.