The Shorty Awards honor the best of social media and digital. View this season's finalists!

Special Project

Special Project
From the 12th Annual Shorty Awards

The Taste Test Drive by Nicorette

Entered in Pharma & Healthcare, Multi-Platform Partnership, Branded Content


In a world where vapes/ecigs have blurred the lines between quitting and switching, and essentially made smoking cool again, how does a brand with a 23-year heritage of helping smokers to quit ignite consideration and conversion to completely break-free from the habit?

Strategy and Execution

With popularity of e-cigs increasing, sleek marketing and a pleasurable smoking experiences have helped fuel the growing misconception that these cigarette alternatives are smoking cessation products — making it all the more difficult to attract and captivate the estimated 34.4 million of Americans who still smoke cigarettes* to consider and ultimately make Nicorette a part of their quit journey.

We’ve heard from smokers that the taste of NRT products make it difficult to stick with their quit attempt. However, the new Nicorette Coated Ice Mint Lozenge (NCIML) – the first and only FDA approved coated lozenge – helps to addresses this plus the symptoms of cigarette withdrawal while doubling the chances of quitting.**

By leaning into consumer insights and introducing a new first-of-its-kind product through an integrated campaign that further emphasizes Nicorette’s mission to truly support smokers in their journey to quit; we can get smokers to consider Nicorette as an effective smoking cessation tool.

Enter, an innovative new product: the new NCMIL that has a formula designed to deliver amazing taste and effective, long-lasting craving relief that keeps working even after the lozenge dissolves. The great taste and texture of the new lozenge, the first innovation in the category in 10 years, makes managing cravings a bit more enjoyable.

Nicorette knows that advice from former smokers who have successfully quit is the most powerful way to connect with current smokers. Combined with the insight that driving is one of the top craving triggers, Nicorette launched an integrated program, featuring former smoker and NASCAR legend, Dale Earnhardt Jr. who invited smokers to begin their quit journey by taking the new Nicorette lozenge on a Taste Test Drive.

The campaign had deep roots in digital with exclusive campaign video content feature through online video placements and across social media. The content series included Dale’s Story, a genuine testimonial about Dale Jr.’s experience smoking and ultimately quitting, and the Taste Test Drive, where Dale Jr. surprises his cousin Danny Jr. and an unsuspecting NASCAR fan, both starting their own quit journeys with Nicorette and leaning on Dale as their coach. We also leveraged Dale Jr.’s social channels to pulse content and saw tremendous engagement across his fan base.

Offline Dale brought his personal story and the Nicorette Coated Ice Mint Lozenge to high-impact consumer, sports, lifestyle and business media with stories appearing in Forbes, People, USA Today and Good Morning America, among others. After a full media day, Dale hosted a private media event at New York City’s members only Classic Car Club. There, media were invited to speak with Dale and even race him in a custom VR racing machine while taking the lozenge for a Taste Test Drive.


The Taste Test Drive catapulted Nicorette to the forefront of media conversations and resulted in over 1 billion earned media impressions in two business days - exceeding our KPIs by 85%.

Media Impact:

Consumer Engagement

Business Outcomes

A major drug retailers reporting that more than 50% of new Nicorette lozenge buyers are new to the category and 13% of volume was incremental to the category.


Video for The Taste Test Drive by Nicorette

Entrant Company / Organization Name

Weber Shandwick, Publicis, Epsilon, GlaxoSmithKline


Entry Credits