IBS Uses RISS Screensaver to Target Organ Procurement Organizations

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Rhode Island Soft Systems, a software engineering company, this week gave medical company International Bioresearch Solutions the right -- free of charge -- to use a screensaver that aims to serve as a direct marketing tool.

The screensaver -- Liverdance, The Screensaver Parody -- hopes to generate traffic to IBS' Web site.

IBS works with organ procurement organizations to place human organs with research organizations when the organs are not medically suitable for transplant. IBS, Tucson, AZ, is targeting two or three members each from a network of 63 organ procurement organizations, particularly chief executives.

The screensaver, which is downloadable through a CD or a disk, features a parody on the Irish music show "Riverdance." Five cartoon livers, dressed in green stockings, fall from the top of the PC screen and break into a dance.

At the end of the dance, several direct contact options appear at the bottom of the screen. For instance, by hitting the space bar, a user is taken directly to IBS' Web page, www.researchtissue.org. The screensaver also will offer users the option to contact the company via e-mail or telephone, IBS representatives said.

"The screensaver provides avenues to collect key marketing information," said Lee Rush, vice president of marketing at RISS, Woonsocket, RI. "It serves especially well in the e-mail collection process."

In addition, the screensaver serves as a platform for companies to advertise their products. Customers, for example, can visit BarnesandNoble.com or Hasbro.com by clicking the letter "v" on their keyboards.

RISS -- www.risoftsystems.com -- has created customized screensavers for about 100 companies, RISS representatives said, including the New York Knicks and Folgers Coffee, Cincinnati.

Folgers passed out the Folgers branded screensaver to some 10,000 college students in Southern California, said Pete Spinella, vice president of promotions at Bromley Communications, San Antonio, Folgers' public relations firm.

The screensaver linked the students directly to a partnering company, Quepasa.com, Phoenix, a Web portal geared toward Latin Americans, where Folgers had six Web pages, Spinella said. He said thousands of people responded to the screensaver, but exact figures were not readily available.

Meanwhile, IBS, which plans to deliver the Liverdance screensaver via direct mail, hopes it will give it an edge over its rivals.

"We want to solidify the [people] we already work with, and we feel this is a great marketing tool to achieve that," Matthew Feldman, director of profused organs at IBS, said.

Feldman added that the screensaver drive aims to increase awareness not only for IBS, but also for research organs.

IBS expects the Liverdance screensaver to increase its Web traffic from 200 visits a week to about 400, Feldman said.

Feldman said that while the Liverdance screensaver offers customers an e-mail channel to respond, IBS does not plan to follow up with e-mail campaigns. IBS, which already has contact information for all the organ procurement organizations, instead plans to follow up via telephone, he said.

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