Emergen-C: Emergen-C “Emerge Your Best” Campaign


Campaign Summary

Emergen-C undertook to generate awareness of its usefulness as an aid to everyday wellness, not just as a medicine to take when ill.


Objective and Context:

The wellness category has experienced explosive growth over the last few years, with global wellness market size surpassing an estimated $4 trillion in 2020. Myriad trends and subcategories have been emerging and combining to accelerate the pace of change. For instance, as technology and mobile devices have helped people to learn more about their health, they've have become more aware of and interested in identifying opportunities to improve their health in every aspect of their lives.

With consumers increasingly understanding the multidimensional nature of wellness, Emergen-C saw an opportunity to similarly educate consumers on the multidimensional nature of immune health and expand its brand positioning from an immunity brand for sick days to a wellness brand for every day. In doing so, the brand would also be able to set itself apart from its traditional immune competitive set and transcend the category's reliance on seasonally increased incidence of illnesses for increased sales.

Emergen-C entered 2019 focused on developing an integrated cross-channel Masterbrand campaign that would effectively assert its broader wellness identity and everyday relevance to a larger and more engaged base of wellness consumers. After thorough segmentation, campaign conceptualization, and consumer testing phases, the brand landed on its "Emerge Your Best" campaign. With TV and print aimed at mass reach, Emergen-C leveraged digital and social media to achieve more targeted reach and awareness, with impressions, engagement, key equity shifts, and increased year-round buying as its measures of success.

The integrated launch of the Emerge Your Best campaign began in Q1 2020.

Target Audience:

The campaign targeted "Healthy Lifestyle Believers." Members of this group are highly educated, digitally-savvy, ambitious, and affluent segment of millennial and generation X adults with full-time jobs and established family units. They find great fulfillment in physical activity, social connection, and adventure and strive to excel at whatever they do while also maintaining an overall sense of balance and positivity. In support of their consistently healthy lifestyles, they do a lot of wellness research on digital and social media and experiment with different brands and products, preferring non-medicated products whenever possible and staying loyal to brands they like after trial.

Creative Strategy:

The "Emerge Your Best" campaign was built with two core imperatives in mind.

  • Emergen-C needed to inspire: Given the targets' positive and driven mindset, the campaign needed to evoke a feeling of transformation and communicate the brand's commitment to higher-order self-improvement and self-realization, showcasing wellness activities to visually grab attention and underscore everyday usage behaviors.
  • Emergen-C needed to transcend Vitamin C: With consumers understandably associating Emergen-C with Vitamin C, it became clear within consumer testing that the brand needed to more effectively communicate the full range of other carefully selected vitamins and nutrients that it offered to round out its everyday relevance story.

Knowing that the target audience was highly engaged on mobile social and digital channels, Emergen-C's media and creative teams worked together to focus on Facebook, Instagram, and digital display. The digital display arm of the campaign featured standard and high-impact mobile placements and keyword-contextual, purchase-based, incidence-based, and affinity-based targeting.


Overall Campaign Execution:

About 80 percent of the approximately $1.3 million Q1 2020 social and digital display media budget supported mobile placements. This breakdown reflects Emergen-C's understanding of its target consumers' media consumption habits, with Healthy Lifestyle Believers demonstrating a strong preference for consuming video content on mobile and for using social media. The combination of targeted and concurrently-running TV, OTT, paid search, social media, and display placements was inspired by target behaviors: The target likes to watch TV (consuming a median 3.5 hours per day), but 40 percent often check social media and 55 percent often Google interesting products they see while watching linear or OTT programming.

Mobile Execution:

With mobile being core to the creative and media approach of this campaign, Emergen-C was focused on leaning into the immersive one-to-one experiences specifically achievable on mobile to create content that would grab and hold consumer attention and more effectively move the needle in expanding Emergen-C's wellness equity and daily relevance.

When developing its social content, Emergen-C:

  • Implemented a clean, mobile-first, consistent creative look and feel across channels
  • Ideated inspirational content themes that would effectively grab targets' attention and expand upon the TV and print creative
  • Designed visual executions that maximized the potential of ad formats on Facebook and Instagram

Guided by popular consumer wellness trends like mindfulness and the targets' desire to stay on top of new developments and improve themselves, Emergen-C conceptualized carousel video ads and Instagram Stories videos featuring visually-arresting and close-up shots of yoga and meditation scenes. Leaning into mobile formats and the targets' interests in cooking, running, and exercising, Emergen-C also created high-energy video content that effectively grabbed attention via production quality and topical relevance.

To optimize display advertising, Emergen-C:

  • Pretested display creative in mobile-first video ad formats
  • Worked to streamline messaging for the mobile viewing context
  • Expanded upon prior years' mobile display placement strategies by working with Kargo to craft high-impact placements that would more effectively grab consumer attention

Results (including context, evaluation, and market impact)

Since its launch in January 2020, the Emerge Your Best campaign has demonstrated significant success on social and digital media. In Emergen-C's effort to raise awareness of its everyday relevance, the brand garnered 275 million social impressions and 139 million display impressions in Q1.

The brand's content has outperformed cross-brand company benchmarks with:

  • Facebook in-feed engagement rates (ER) of 4.4 percent
  • Video view rates (VVR) of 4.3 percent
  • Video completion rates (VCR) of 61 percent
  • Instagram in-feed ERs of 6.4 percent and VVRs of 6.3 percent
  • Instagram Stories ERs and VVRs of 2.5 percent and VCRs of 25 percent

At a macro level, Emergen-C has also seen significant upticks in the volume of key metrics, with reach increasing 195 percent, engagements increasing 240 percent, website sessions increasing 105 percent, and organic website sessions increasing 83 percent (all versus Q1 2019). The brand's display efforts were also effective, earning a .38 percent CTR versus a .09 percent display CTR in Q1 2019.

In addition, The "Buy Now" click rate on Emergen-C's website also increased from 2.2 percent in Q1 2019 to 18 percent in Q1 2020. (However, it's important to note the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic had later in Q1 2020 and continues to have in the present day).

Categories: | Industries: | Objectives: Cross-Media | Awards: NA Bronze Winner