Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

Allerca Lifestyle Pets

Friday, 9 February 2007; 10:00

At a price of $4,000 to $6,000 per kitten, it is pathetic that Allerca uses YouTube to distribute its video content. Can Allerca not afford a decent web designer? At least they are not using rehashed 30-second commercials, but instead 2-3 minutes segments from the three major networks’ morning and evening news programs.

And, somewhat as an aside, The Distillery can only wonder when Google/YouTube will begin charging firms for purely commercial video distribution. Rest assured that day will come.

Home page:  Allerca Lifestyle Pets



Catch of the Day (08.02.2007)

Thursday, 8 February 2007; 15:37


Tuesday, 6 February 2007; 20:19

Few know it, but before Trek came along seven-times Tour de France winner, Lance Armstrong, rode a Litespeed titanium bicycle. In fact, he liked the company’s bikes so much that he paid for his own custom-built Litespeeds instead of riding the standard team issue bikes supplied for free by another manufacturer. For those few hardcore cyclists out there, let us have a look at this interview and what Litespeed is up to these days.

Home page:  Litespeed

Approximately $10,000 and it’s yours! (Roche Laboratories)

Monday, 5 February 2007; 10:38

Unless you look a little closely, you may not recognize that is brought to you by Roche Laboratories.

(By the way, have you noticed all the penguins being used in advertisements these days? Clearly, the little fellas have become a very hot item on Madison Avenue as of late.)

Home page:

AquaMagic Water Generators

Tuesday, 9 January 2007; 13:25

How about a cloud in a box? Normally, The Distillery would immediately pan any manufacturer using rehashed news footage as online multimedia content. However, in the case of AquaMagic the approach works reasonably well. That is because the news footage, from disaster-struck regions here in the United States (e.g., Florida, Mississippi), works to both demonstrate the product and also adds a strong element of legitimacy. After all, there is nothing like a successful field test to tout (and sell) an excellent product.

AquaMagic’s water generators seem almost amazing. The firm’s tag line: Create water out of thin air. And, that’s exactly what the product does. It provides a source of fresh drinking water in areas where fresh water is not available or is no longer available. Such water generators are the perfect product for disaster-prone towns, cities, and governments looking to save lives, provide sanitary conditions, and protect their populaces after a disaster. How many will take advantage of this superb and novel life-saver? Unfortunately, the next disaster–natural or otherwise–may give us the answer.

Home page:  AquaMagic


Motorola & (Product) Red

Monday, 8 January 2007; 8:52

Chris Rock. Sheryl Crow. Charlie Sheen. Molly Sims. Kayne West. Chris Kattan. That’s quite the expensive line-up of spokespersons. However, The Distillery is guessing these individuals participating in Motorola’s (Product) Red campaign either donated their time or charged exceptionally little for it. (Could Bono have been involved in the negotiations?) 

Each of the above individuals, including Bono, are participating in a global campaign, with sponsorship by Motorola, to increase awareness and funding for HIV and AIDS–especially in Africa where the daily deaths of thousands of parents are leaving thousands and thousands of orphan children. And quite frankly, The Distillery is impressed. Motorola seems to have gone the extra mile to provide an entire line of red products to call attention to the HIV/AIDS problem.

Even more, the firm has “borrowed” the YouTube model to present each celebrity’s statement with a “videowall.” Beyond that, it appears there is even space reserved for you. You are encouraged to create your own video and upload it, possibly for inclusion with additional videos by other consumers, Nelson Mandela, Amerie, and 50 Cent. Nice job, Motorola. It is really nice to see capitalism and corporations need not exclude a large measure of compassion.

Home page: Motorola & (Product) Red

Eckerd Pharmacy

Tuesday, 19 September 2006; 11:45

Keeping a broken promise, The Distillery looks at Eckerd Pharmacy after reviewing Walgreens. However, there appears nothing whatsoever to compare. That is, not even one video still is to be found at Ergo, Walgreens wins by a knock-out. And, Eckerd enters the Hall of Shame.

The Distillery’s suggested Rx for Eckerd: Put the lime in the coconut and drink it all up.

Home page:  Eckerd Pharmacy

Eckerd sales newspaper insert graphic

Walgreens Pharmacy and Health Corner TV

Monday, 11 September 2006; 16:09

This one was a real surprise. The Distillery never expected to find a such a phenomenal online presence by Walgreens. In fact, there is so much that today you will be pointed to only Health Corner TV, apparently a joint venture between Walgreens and Lifetime Television for Women, and Animated Features, “more than 100 entertaining and informative animated features on topics ranging from allergy, blood pressure, and cosmetic surgery to blinking, Alzheimer’s disease, and the effect of tobacco use on arteries.”

The Distillery admits to having a perception of Walgreens as an old and stogy drug store chain. However, that baseless assumption appears to be totally inaccurate. In fact, and to paraphrase the retort of a well-known physicist after reading someone’s out-in-left-field paper, The Distillery wasn’t even wrong! That is, all expectations were completely off the map. Instead, Walgreens is found to be among the leaders as today’s marketing environment experiences a drastic overhaul. Tomorrow, let’s see how a competitor, Eckerd Pharmacy, stacks up.

Home page:  Walgreens
Home page:  Walgreens Health Corner TV
Home page:  Walgreens Animation Player
Home page:  Lifetime Television for Women
Walgreens weekly advertising insert graphic

“Conjoined at the Head” & “Joined for Life” ( & Figure 8 Films)

Tuesday, 8 August 2006; 16:05

The only time we will be separated is upon our death. ~Lori and Dori Schappell

My college buddy, the man behind and Figure 8 Films, and the producer of Jackie’s Story, now brings us Conjoined at the Head and Joined for Life. (Streaming videos highlighting the programs can be found about one-quarter of the way down each page.) The following are synopses of these amazing programs about even more amazing individuals:

Conjoined at the Head:

Conjoined at the Head explores the life and death challenges faced by craniopagus conjoined twins or those connected at the head. Craniopagus conjoined twins are the rarest and possibly the most difficult to separate. We examine three such sets of twins whose lives unfold in three very different ways.

At 43, Lori and Dori Schappell from Reading, PA are the oldest living female conjoined twins in the world. They have lived their lives conjoined at the side of their heads facing opposite directions.

Joined for Life:

Abby and Brittany Hensel are eleven-year-old conjoined twins (the scientific and politically correct term for Siamese twins). They are intelligent, energetic, fun-loving girls who just happen to share one set of legs and one set of arms – each girl controlling one half of their conjoined body. In their own words, they are “just two people…stuck together.”

In addition, we have the following update about Abby and Brittany from

Conjoined twins, Abby and Brittany Hensel, are now 16 and driving, in addition to anything else a typical 16 year old would be doing. No dating yet, but they sure do have a lot going on as their enter their Junior year in high school. We are spending the summer with them for a new hour that will be seen on TLC in North America and Channel Five in England. We will post updates and more about airdates and other distribution on our website – and

Update on Jackie’s Story: It has not gone unnoticed the number of people who come to The Distillery for Jackie’s Story. has informed The Distillery that Jackie very recently fell and broke both an arm and a leg. She now faces a new set of challenges.

If you wish to discuss Jackie or any other programs from and Figure 8 Films, be certain to login at the firms’ new forums. There you will find others sharing their stories and the inspiration they received from watching the productions.

And last, be certain to check out Figure 8 Films’ On The Road With 16 Children, featuring the Dugger family. From the producer:

The first Dugger show was one of the highest rated shows ever shown on the Discovery Health Channel. This Sunday, August 6th, you can see all of the Duggar shows ever shown in Prime Time on Discovery Health. (Check your local television program listings for channels and show times.)

Home page:
Home page: Conjoined at the Head
Home page: Joined for Life

Lori and Dori Schappell photo graphic Abby and Brittany Hensel photo graphic


Friday, 4 August 2006; 9:11

The Distillery has been found to be lacking once again. There are some products which are never considered for inclusion here. It’s not because they are disliked, it’s just they are never considered. That’s when serendipity comes to the rescue.

What about evacuation to the hospital of your choice if you are injured or sick while on vacation? Does your Visa, MasterCard, or American Express card cover that? No. Even more, as we have seen with recent world events, even the American Embassy is often found lacking. That’s when MedJetAssist flies to your aid. (Why do I have visions of Mighty Mouse flying around in my head right now? Oh yea,… Here I come to save the day! Mighty Mouse is on his way!)

MedJetAssist is an emergency medical air evacuation insurance service which operates around the globe. (Great idea!) The company will fly you to any hospital in the world and also cover repatriation (if you are overseas), as long as you’re at least 150 miles from home. The service has even caught the attention of Fox News. Pricing? Very reasonable considering the service offered.

Home page: MedJetAssist

MedJetAssist logo graphic Passport graphic

Dr. LEE Jong-wook (WHO)

Thursday, 3 August 2006; 13:28

What exactly is WHO, the World Health Organization? That link should tell you most of what you might like to know. However, The Distillery is not highlighting WHO, but instead Dr. LEE Jong-wook, the former Director-General of the organization, and someone who made a real difference in this world. It is his welcoming video you see at the aforementioned link. This blog entry is in his memory.

Direct link: Dr. LEE Jong-wook
Home page: World Health Organization

Dr. Lee Jong-wook 1945-2006 photo graphic

Roche Health Kiosk

Tuesday, 25 July 2006; 11:44

Before we start with The Distillery’s usual focus, let us ask if this page at Roche is fully secured? Or, might we be hearing and reading about another information security breech? Let’s hope those default Apache passwords have been changed.

Moving along to the business at hand, we find the Roche Health Kiosk. (Clicking on Garden of Eden in the lower left of your screen leads to the Apache page mentioned above.) It looks promising given users are instructed to have Flash and Quicktime installed on their computers, but we’ve been fooled before by that before. Will we be this time?

Clicking our way inside via Influenza, definitely a hot topic these days, we find ourselves presented with what appears to be static information offered via a menu listing. And, in a font size no elderly person could ever possibly read. Although fewer older persons use computers than younger generations, it would still be very nice to see some obvious means by which the text could be made larger such that one of the most susceptible groups could more easily access the information.

That noted, click on Definition and look for the all-but-invisible shadow of a video camera graphic below the larger color image. Clicking on either it or the green arrow at the bottom of the screen opens a Quicktime video defining influenza. We find that to be the mode of presentation down the entire list, with the exception of Facts worth knowing [sic]. Even more, we find that to be the mode throughout the site with all the listed conditions and diseases.

However, The Distillery wonders who might be the target audience for this material. As previously noted, the site is definitely not user-friendly for anyone over a certain age when one’s eyesight becomes poorer. There is far too little guidance to the multimedia content, the sort of content most easily accessed and comprehended by those with less than perfect vision and even most in need of the information. Maybe it’s just me, but I expect a global health care entity to be a bit more aware than that. Again, what age demographic is most likely to die from influenza or several of the other conditions? And, Roche does use the word kiosk which typically implies easy access.

Also, should a person come to the Roche’s primary site looking for information, they do not find clear and obvious pointers to the Roche Health Kiosk, which is almost the only portion of Roche’s online presence that the general public will either want to see or can understand. Therefore, might not the Roche Health Kiosk be viewed more as an afterthought by Roche marketing and management than a direct and effective communications channel to the firm’s end users? So it seems.

Home page: Roche Health Kiosk
Home page: Roche

Roche logo graphic heart graphic