Excedrin enjoys a high awareness of 99 percent in the U.S.
The challenge? Converting this awareness into sales and convincing consumers to purchase Excedrin, the head pain specialist, when they already have a generalist pain reliever, like Advil and Tylenol, at home.
How did the brand shift consumer behavior in the highly cluttered OTC market and convert generalists to specialists? With a campaign that demonstrates Excedrin truly understands the headaches of its time.
Through social listening, Excedrin was able to capture the way consumers were talking about their headaches and highlight them through powerful visualizations, proving that Excedrin sees your pain and offers real relief, even in the form of relatable Limited Editions.
Objective and Context:
Headaches are personal and everyone's experiences with them are unique. But Excedrin also knew some headaches were caused by universal experiences. Through social listening and consumer surveys, Excedrin identified the source of universally headache-inducing moments, the kinds of moments everyone can relate to. Enter Excedrin Limited Editions: Adulting. Bad Date. Commuter.
Excedrin's target were consumers who suffer from headaches.
For the first time, Excedrin created Limited Editions available for consumers to order at Excedrin.com. By limiting availability to its owned property, the brand found a way to create excitement around the exclusivity, and to capture first-party consumer data, setting the groundwork for future DTC activations.
Excedrin amplified the message via fan-favorite influential celebrities, mass-reach social media announcements, targeted on-site sampling, and out-of-home digital billboards.
Excedrin extended the Limited Editions to 80 unique and contextually relevant digital versions efficiently delivered through a dynamic video creative template. These related to headache-inducing moments, from the Sunday Scaries to DIY failures.
Overall Campaign Execution:
This program marked a refresh in the Excedrin campaign creative and strategy with the unveiling of We See Your Pain. The basis of the idea is that as The Headpain Expert, Excedrin sees headache sufferers' pain when others cannot, and Excedrin is always on a mission to provide relief from that pain and those headaches, wherever they exist.
The launch proved to be a seamless integration with mass reach social media announcements, on-site sampling initiatives, and relevant out-of-home digital billboards. Even when the physical Limited Editions were out of stock, the campaign messaging was sustained via dynamic videos, making the user experience even more personal with its hyper-contextual digital editions.
This campaign was integrated from start to finish and boasted an aggressive timeline, which meant as a brand Excedrin needed to be nimble and efficient. Excedrin put massive cross-channel support toward three Limited Edition products. Additionally, the Limited Editions were brought to market in an incredibly short time, which meant navigating uncharted territory and legal, medical, and regulatory reviews, approvals, and hurdles in record time.
Excedrin identified universal headache-inducing moments and created one-of-a-kind Limited Edition packaging to reflect those headaches. For the first time, consumers could order their own Commuter, Bad Date, or Adulting Limited Edition.
The activation kicked off by bringing relief to headache-inducing commuter hubs in New York City: the "Commuter" Edition was offered at Penn Station, while digital billboards highlighted the SKU outside the Lincoln Tunnel. Simultaneously, celebrity spokespeople like Tan France and Antoni Porowski from Netflix's Queer Eye shared their headache-worthy moments.
And in case consumers couldn't relate to its physical editions, Excedrin created custom pre-roll videos articulating 80 additional universal scenarios that were relevant to a consumer's online environment. For example, a parent reading an article on foods for picky eaters might receive the "Why Won't My Kid Eat This?" Excedrin Limited Edition, making the user experience even more personal.
The campaign launched on September 5, 2018. With all Limited Editions sold out by 3:00 p.m. on launch day, it was clear that the program had ignited a national conversation. The campaign received tremendous media coverage, resulting in 442 total placements across high-impact consumer, lifestyle, entertainment, and health media, surpassing one billion earned media impressions.
On social, consumers and media proved receptive to the campaign, causing a mention increase of over 1,000 percent compared to the same day as the week prior. User-generated content and brand love ignited. Consumers even proclaimed they were switching from Advil/Tylenol to Excedrin.
On Facebook the campaign resulted in a three-point lift in purchase intent, which exceeded the 1.7-point healthcare benchmark.