Posts Tagged ‘OTC’

The thing I like most about this ad for Sudafed decongestant, is that they resisted the temptation to turn the woollen woman back into a real woman as Sudafed worked it’s magic. That may seem obvious, but in pharma and OTC marketing (where the offering is simply a return to normality) the tendency to hammer the analogy home often wins out.

Also, I do like the anatomical detail they managed to pack into wool. Very nice:

(Skip ahead to 30s to avoid the pre-roll countdown bit)



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Help I Need Help was developed by two young ad execs who saw a gap in the healthcare market:

“The healthcare industry has done a horrible job in presenting itself to the world. On one end of the spectrum, you have drugs with all sorts of scary warnings like ‘may cause insomnia or rectal bleeding,’ but that really work. On the other end, you have herbal and homeopathic remedies that are nice and friendly but that don’t really work. We took the tone from one and the effectiveness from the other.”

Help I Need Help is a range of simply and elegantly packaged OTC basics. Help I Have a Headache contains ibuprofen, Help I’ve Cut Myself are plasters, and so on…

The website is a perfect example of a simple idea, well executed. Every page has been given thought and attention. There’s a button at the bottom of the headache page below called help I want to try “help I have a headache” but I don’t have a headache. Click on it and you get a wailing, discordant screech, mixed in with babies crying.

And it’s carried on throughout the site: the sleeping pills page has a link to an beautifully animated dream recommender; the allergies page links to an apology to sneezing fetishists, which further links to a fully realised page for www.helpihaveasneezingfetish.com; and for those of you just want to fuck around, help I’m bored has a good hour’s worth of distractions…

I’m torn by Help I Need Help – it’s a brilliant marketing job: the insight that basic OTC medicine should be simple allows them to position themselves as the honest, straight-talking option, so different to the “extra strength” and “now with even more pain fighting power” bollocks of their competitors, and the website execution is top-notch.

However, the ‘medicine should be simple’ message is undermined by quite how much branding there is. With launch stunts that included men running on treadmills in high heels to promote the blister pads and people sleeping all day for the sleeping pills, I can’t shake the impression that it’s all just to blind you to the fact that they’re selling 16 aspirin for $4…

I can’t complain too much though. This is pretty much the definition of a well run, well executed campaign, built around one really great insight.

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Most bedwetting advertising approaches the subject by showing relief from the obvious trauma of nighttime accidents. These Korean ads manage to completely flip reverse it and find the positive, showing the glorious freedom of weeing in your dreams:


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