Flonase: Flonase Greatest Season Ever


Campaign Summary

Observing that the audience for its product was interested in sports, and particularly baseball, Flonase developed a campaign to remind allergy sufferers that the beginning of the baseball season in the spring also marked the beginning of the Flonase season. The brand supported the campaign with both ad buys on social media and the use of MLB star Justin Verlander as a spokesperson.


Objective and Context:

The OTC allergy category is highly commoditized, with most allergy-sufferers using over-the-counter allergy pills as their first line of treatment. But most pills don’t treat the nasal congestion that the nasal spray Flonase does. So Flonase didn’t just need to make pill-users aware that Flonase relieves more symptoms than their customary treatment; it also had to convince them to change their behavior and make the switch from pills to Flonase.

The brand’s sales objective was to increase HHP from 5 percent to 5.5 percent, while its engagement KPIs were to exceed:

  • 20,000 social engagements
  • 2 million video views
  • 1 billion overall campaign impressions

Target Audience:

The Flonase audience is broad, as 50 million Americans suffer from seasonal allergies. While they may use intranasal sprays, they tend to believe that these are targeted rescue treatments that are only to be used when symptoms such as nasal congestion flare up.

Flonase buyers tend to be slightly older, with a median age of 45, and more affluent, with a median household income of $72,000. In addition, they over-index in affinity for sports such as golf and particularly baseball.

Creative Strategy:

Flonase’s Greatest Season Ever campaign capitalized on fans’ interest in baseball’s 2018 Opening Day, employing marquee MLB talent to remind them that baseball season was also allergy season, and that its products could address their symptoms more satisfactorily than other treatments.


Overall Campaign Execution:

To bring the campaign to life, Flonase tapped the Houston Astros’ Justin Verlander, the star pitcher of the 2017 World Series champions — himself a lifelong allergy-sufferer and devoted Flonase user. The brand’s advertising highlighted the factors that contributed to Verlander’s success: the constant support and encouragement of his father, long hours of practice, and a focus on the field that was undiminished by the distractions allergy symptoms could have created were it not for Flonase.

To capitalize on consumers’ heightened attention during baseball’s 2018 Opening Day, Flonase sought to reach them on a variety of sites and platforms popular with baseball fans. As fans often turn to YouTube to see game highlights, Flonase chose to place an ad on the site’s masthead. And since Flonase’s research indicated that 78 percent of Twitter users are interested in baseball, the brand chose to purchase Twitter First View Video placement, guaranteeing that it reached every person on the platform at least once, but up to 3 times, on Opening Day.

To reach stadium-goers in addition to social media users, Flonase partnered with the IBM/Weather Company’s allergy-tracker app, providing real-time, geo-targeted allergy data for stadiums in the country’s 10 worst allergy cities. And knowing that game-attendees plan their outings in advance, Flonase also sponsored a countdown to the baseball season within the app in the days leading up to Opening Day, reminding allergy sufferers to be prepared with Flonase.

Mobile Execution:

Overall, the Greatest Season Ever campaign was highly focused on mobile. Its assets ran across YouTube TrueView, programmatic online video, and social media. Mobile devices accounted for 48 percent of online video impressions and 92 percent of social media impressions.

Results (including context, evaluation, and market impact)

The campaign demonstrated its impressive reach by generating:

  • 503 million video impressions on Twitter and YouTube on Opening Day alone
  • Over 1.07 billion total campaign impressions

The campaign also turned in impressive engagement figures.

  • Twitter First View Video garnered 10.8 million video views, marking a 44 percent increase over 2016, and a 6 percent higher view-rate than the benchmark for Consumer Packaged Goods.
  • Flonase’s ad placement on the YouTube masthead produced over 4.2 million engagements.
  • With 7.4 million views, the campaign’s hero video reached No. 5 on the Ad Age Viral Chart.
  • Visitors to Flonase.com rose by 650 percent on Opening Day compared to figures for the same day of the previous year.

Most importantly, the campaign boosted sales.

  • Flonase increased its share of the Allergy Category from the No. 4 position in 2017 to the No. 3 position in 2018.
  • In the four weeks ending on June 24, 2018, Flonase consumption rose by 4.4 percent when compared with the previous year, while the category increased by only 2.3 percent.
  • In the week following Opening Day, Flonase’s total U.S. sales were up 10.6 percent compared with the previous year.
  • Over the same period in the Houston Market (Justin Verlander’s home field), sales of Flonase Adult rose by 15.3 percent compared with the previous year.

Categories: Mobile Social | Industries: Healthcare | Objectives: Mobile Social | Awards: NA Silver Winner