Excedrin enjoys a high awareness of 99% in the U.S.
The challenge? Converting this awareness into sales and convincing consumers to add Excedrin, the headpain specialist to their shopping cart when they already have a generalist pain reliever, like Advil and Tylenol, at home.
How do we shift consumer behavior in the highly cluttered OTC space and ultimately achieve the tall order of converting generalists to specialists?
Enter Excedrin We See Your Pain: an integrated campaign to empathetically show that heads are special and deserve the specialized care of Excedrin.
Rooted in the insight that headaches interfere with the lives of sufferers, making the most extraordinary part of their body more ordinary. Through social listening, Excedrin found people describe headaches with far more vivid imagery—think waves crashing, rocks pounding, a head splitting—than they do other typical types of body pain. The truth is, headaches are far more personal than most people realize. Even if you know someone has a headache, you don't actually know what they're feeling.
While headaches are personal, Excedrin wanted to unite head pain sufferers to provide empathy and understanding. Through social listening and consumer surveys, Excedrin also uncovered the source of universally headache inducing moments, such as dating, commuting and even adulting and used these insights to fuel a ground-breaking activation.
Planning + Strategy
As the leader in head pain for 50+ years, Excedrin not only knows headaches and headache sufferers well enough to see their pain when others don't, they also know what causes that pain.
We See Your Pain brought to life through custom headache visualizations and Limited Edition packaging reflecting the most universal headache inducing moments.
For the first time in the pain category, Excedrin created Limited Edition products available for consumers to order at Excedrin.com. By limiting availability to its owned property, Excedrin found a way to create excitement around the exclusivity, and were able to capture first party consumer data—setting the ground work for future direct-to-consumer activations (another untapped opportunity for the OTC category that Excedrin hopes to pave the way in).
Our message was amplified with the help of some fan favorite celebrities, as well as mass reach social media announcements. Paired with targeted on-site sampling initiatives and relevant out-of-home digital billboards, Excedrin understood the critical nature of seamless integration in order to achieve a successful launch. The campaign messaging would also be delivered via dynamic videos, making the user experience even more personal with its hyper-contextual digital editions.
We See Your Pain integrated campaign made it possible for headache sufferers to unveil their otherwise invisible pain to others. We brought common headache descriptions to life via striking visualizations, such as waves crashing and lightning striking, and ran them in TVC, social and digital.
Moreover, Excedrin identified universal headache-inducing moments and created one-of-a-kind Limited Edition packaging to reflect those headaches. Available exclusively on Excedrin.com while supplies lasted, consumers were able to order their very own "Commuter," "Bad Date" or "Adulting" Excedrin Limited Edition.
The activation kicked off by bringing relief to two of the most headache inducing commuter hubs in New York City: The "Commuter" Limited Edition was sampled outside of Penn Station, while digital billboards highlighting the Commuter SKU appeared outside the Lincoln Tunnel–one of the country's heavenly-congested entrances with 120,000 daily commuters–and drove to Excedrin.com.
Simultaneously, celebrity spokespeople Tan France and Antoni Porowski from Netflix's Queer Eye shared headache-worthy moments of their own along with our Limited Editions with top-tier media and their social media followers. Following a day of in-person interviews, they hosted a custom event where media attendees learned about the campaign and heard from clinical psychologist and head pain expert, Dr. Elizabeth Seng.
Bachelor franchise favorites, Ashley Iaconetti and Jared Haibon also highlighted the "Bad Date" Limited Edition through 1:1 interviews and a small-scale event, where they spoke to media about their public experience with 'bad date' headaches.
We even extended the Limited Editions to dynamic video—over 80 versions of Excedrin :06 pre-roll, followed by a contextually relevant video. The Dynamic Creative Optimization (DCO) was built around pre-identified targeting triggers, including sports, parenting, finance, etc. with dynamic copy overlays customized for each.
The We See Your Pain campaign demonstrated that Excedrin exists to champion and protect our extraordinary minds because heads are special and deserve specialized care.
The campaign launched on September 5, 2018 and is still in market. With all Limited Editions sold out by 3pm on launch day, it was clear that the We See Your Pain program had ignited a national conversation.
The campaign received tremendous coverage resulting in over a billion total earned impressions, driving more conversation than the award-winning Excedrin Works and Debate Headache campaigns. In addition, We See Your Pain garnered 442 total placements across high impact consumer, lifestyle, entertainment and health media with a potential audience of 1,013,053,082 (UVPM). Online articles were shared approximately 1,237 times on social, and 129 earned driven social posts surfaced, reaching 109,171,649 followers.
On social, consumers and media proved receptive to the campaign, causing a mention increase of over 1,000%. User generated content and brand love were buzzing and even consumers proclaiming they were switching from Advil/Tylenol to Excedrin. Some consumers expressed how Excedrin really understood their "pain" with these Limited Editions—a huge win.
The launch even garnered attention from other celebrities such as Reese Witherspoon who Tweeted, "What is Adulting Excedrin?!? And why don't I have it?!?"
Furthermore, on Facebook the campaign resulted in a 3pt life in purchase intent, which exceeds the 1.7pt healthcare benchmark.