ZYRTEC: The Muddle Shop


Campaign Summary

The Zyrtec Muddle Shop campaign used satire to point out the silly things people do to compensate for inadequate allergy relief. It delivers a meaningful benefit to people when they need relief from allergies most. The company’s mobile-first strategy reaches allergy sufferers, who over-index on mobile usage, during the course of their busy day when they are out and about and impacted by seasonal allergies. The objective was to increase brand awareness and purchase intent, as well as increase visits to Zyrtec’s mobile website where people can purchase through retail partner links.

The campaign made the point that Zyrtec offers consistent relief day after day. Zyrtec had to break through the skepticism, because consumers believe that all allergy medicine is the same and does not work consistently. Thus, Zyrtec’s tongue-in-cheek approach demonstrated the follies of holding on to this mistaken belief. Measurement was tracked through Google Analytics and Facebook Brand Effects, as well as through brand website traffic and sales data.


Objective and Context:

Zyrtec’s targeting strategy was to focus on allergy suffers who don’t treat their symptoms consistently, by collecting and intersecting data from Zyrtec’s CRM List for customer matches, previous campaigns, the company’s website’s visitors, and shopper behavior segments provided by Nielsen-Catalina), non-loyal customers to brands, women ages 25-44, and outdoor enthusiasts.

Target Audience:

Allergy sufferers compensate for poor allergy relief by doing all kinds of awkward things. They stuff their pockets full of tissues, wipe their nose on their sleeves, and smear mascara like raccoon eyes when they can’t stand the itch. The campaign presented fake products as satire to actually help people continue muddling through their allergies. Then, the video pulled the rug out and offers a real solution: the consistent allergy relief of Zyrtec. This absurdity made the point that the consistent relief of Zyrtec is better than the silly things people do when they don’t get the relief they need.

The creative and media worked hand-in-hand. Mobile put the creative in context when allergy sufferers need relief most, and delivered its message at the right time and demonstrating the benefit of consistent allergy relief day after day.

Zyrtec used Google surveys to optimize the openings of the mobile videos, then optimized which creative unit was promoted throughout the duration of the pre-roll, YouTube and Facebook campaign.

Creative Strategy:

The Muddle Shop was a Spring activation within the broader context of a brand campaign. There have been previous Spring activations with other themes and creative ideas in years past, but this year was the first fully mobile and digital Spring activation for the brand.


Overall Campaign Execution:

People who suffer from seasonal allergies, like pollen, have the worst time when they are outside doing activities. Allergy sufferers, who live an active life, over-index on mobile usage. Reaching them in the moment of suffering, when the brand can offer the benefit of relief, is compelling. The company’s mobile strategy makes this possible. The path to purchase begins when Zyrtec reaches them with a solution when they need one most. Video content is optimized for mobile and SEO on YouTube. The targeted pre-roll consisted of :15 video content, :30 TrueView on YouTube, echo :06 placements only served to those who have seen a :15 or a :30. In addition, Facebook social posts were highly targeted. Zyrtec’s reach goal was 59 percent of its target audience, and 100% of the Spring activation budget went to mobile.


Zyrtec’s mobile strategy was designed to reach its target on more than one channel. Because Zyrtec observed that purchase intent goes up as people engage with the brand at multiple touch-points,pre-roll was designed to create momentum through the skip button, while launching each piece of content with strong branding and a benefit. Zyrtec employed an opening introduction to the video content which held attention. On social, Zyrtec kept it quick and close, with pacing that matched the natural rhythm of scrolling through the news feed on Facebook. Annotations linked out to its mobile website. The company surpassed its expectations in its ability to pull consumers through to its mobile site for the final tap on links to retail partners. Zyrtec realized great value from the mobile platform in breaking through when people are suffering from allergies.

Results (including context, evaluation, and market impact)

Zyrtec entered the Spring allergy season as the contender, behind the allergy category leader. The company did not have the budget to out-shout its competitors. So, instead, Zyrtec had to outsmart its competitors. Knowing that its consumers over-index on mobile usage, the company developed a targeted and context-driven mobile campaign to even the playing field.

The company’s mobile-first strategy paid off. In the Spring 2018 allergy season, Zyrtec became the allergy category leader with No.1 share. Zyrtec also met its objective to deliver content with a meaningful benefit when allergy sufferers need relief most. Brand Awareness rose 7.7 percent, brand consideration rose 7.9 percent, and click-through from mobile channels to its mobile website increased 217 percent. The mobile videos themselves also performed well, with view through to completion at 56 percent compared to a category benchmark of 40 percent.

The Muddle Shop campaign is an example of best-in-class collaboration between the agency, client, and digital partners. The agency brought insight and creative, the brand team defined the business objectives — and Facebook and YouTube ensured best practices and channel expertise. Zyrtec demonstrated that the right people, right place, and right time isn’t just a media plan, but the way marketers have to build teams to develop effective work. Zyrtec optimized early, testing versions in online surveys, then adjusted the media to deliver the best performing content to the targeted audiences. The value of this collaborative, insight-driven, and consumer-centric campaign is demonstrated by the results, including the fact that it propelled Zyrtec to category leadership.

Categories: | Industries: | Objectives: Mobile Video | Awards: NA Bronze Winner