Ahhh-choo…nose blocked…eyes running….head like cotton wool? A cold can stop us in our tracks and Otrivine had a compelling claim to soothe sufferers - it unblocks your nose faster than pills. But this was not translating into sales in the UK. Partly this was due to being outspent by competitor Vicks, and to its narrow promotional resources.
Novartis traditionally relied on TV and had only global TV promotional assets. Nothing was available to encourage sales closer to the point of purchase. However, the bigger challenge was attracting the attention of customers to a low interest product. Consumers rarely prepared ahead for the ‘cold and cough’ season. Instead they only thought about decongestants when they caught a chill. The task was to take a different approach to tackle the dominant player and win over hard-to-reach commuters. But how?
Although the UK ‘cold and cough’ season runs from November to March, outbreaks are more likely to occur when the temperature drops below a critical level and when people are in close proximity to each other. When a cold strikes, sufferers swiftly look for a quick and easy solution to cure their cold - but only once the symptoms start. This sparked the strategy. The brand would capitalise on the correlation of cold weather and cold symptoms and reach individuals when their need, and interest, were highest.
It created the first ever temperature dependent media solution that was both agile and mobile: agile to react to outbreaks of colds when the temperature dropped below five degrees; and mobile to catch the commuter audience on the move when they had an increased chance of catching a cold - and the opportunity to buy a cure.
Otrivine took over key train and underground stations in London, delivering the brand message directly to acommuter audience. Digital screens throughout mainline stations displayed creative, cleverly adapted from our existing TVCs. And they reinforced Otrivine’s power to unblock noses via ticket gates that illustrated ‘unblocking’ as commuters passed through them. Whether they were on escalators, the concourse or platforms, the messaging could not be missed!
By targeting the morning commute, it was able to be part of typical morning conversations: “How are you this morning”? To turn awareness into instant sales, they used real-time ‘WEVE’ geo-fencing temperature sensitive mobile technology to target commuters when they were a short distance from a store selling Otrivine. Consumers received an SMS message that highlighted the benefits of Otrivine’s powerful relief and directed them to the closest Boots or Tesco store, where they could immediately purchase with ease.
Sales jumped 16% year on year and awareness of Otrivine and its faster unblocking message increased 38% amongst those exposed to the initiative. Crucially, those who saw the campaign were four times more likely to purchase Otrivine. The innovative temperature reactive mobile activity reached more than 150,000 people - all in close proximity to partner stores; and strengthened a relationship with these key partners.
The creative approach has been recognised as a best practice within Novartis. The strategy is now being rolled-out in the US, Germany and Sweden. It has also changed the company’s approach to developing global promotional assets. Now, instead of just TV, it is designing across all screens.
Otrivine Brand Manager Pamela Chan, said: “It was a media breakthrough to be ‘mobile’ for Otrivine. We loved the flexibility and engagement allowing us to reach our target customer at the right location and right temperature!” Results not to be sniffed at!
- BRAND OWNER:
- United Kingdom
- February - March 2013
- Starcom Mediavest
- MEDIA CHANNEL:
- Direct Marketing,Digital,Mobile,Out-of-Home