Aspercreme is a topical pain relief brand that’s iconic among Boomers, but has long failed to make inroads with younger generations. In 2021, though, an unexpected trend emerged on TikTok: Young women started touting Aspercreme Dry Spray as a solution for high heel pain. We saw our opening and pounced. Our goal was to reach Gen Z with a relevant message, expand our target audience, and give this legacy brand a more modern image.
We launched Aspercreme’s own content series called #HEELHACK, complete with path to purchase on Amazon. We leaned into the DIY aesthetic of TikTok, featuring women talking about Aspercreme as the perfect hack for high heel pain.
Next, we took the campaign to an exciting new level by partnering with the ultimate expert on high heel pain: Drag Queen, Nicky Doll. Adored by Gen Z for starring in RuPaul’s Drag Race, we crowned Nicky our first ever AsperQueen. She was the perfect influencer to show an entirely new generation how to spray and SLAY high heel pain on YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram.
In each of our AsperQueen spots, we leaned into the vernacular and iconography of drag culture to inform every single one of our creative decisions. Our dialogue lines, location selection, music, sound effects, wardrobe, hair/make-up, and even color-grading choices were all carefully made with the intent of creating authentically campy content that’s as entertaining as it is informative.
And because we were spreading the word about an entirely new use for Aspercreme, we created something we called “the ritual”—an energetic, quick cut product demo sequence featured in our spots that shows people exactly how to apply Aspercreme to their feet and numb away high heel pain.
The campaign was a resounding success! Of course, like many disruptive ideas, it faced its fair share of challenges along the way. First, we had a very low production budget yet we knew we wanted to capture the glamorous world of Drag Queens. Secondly, we had to make a strong case to our clients that the time was right to go after a younger consumer. Fortunately, they embraced our idea and were excited to look beyond their typical middle-aged target audience to break through with Gen Z.
Our campaign did just that.
After our campaign launched, rave reviews came pouring in from every corner of the internet. Fans, press, and even other RuPaul’s famous drag queens showed love for our work.
The campaign also garnered 30 million impressions, 2x the expected engagement rate, 3x the expected click-through rate, and is credited with a 70% increase of Aspercreme Dry Spray sales on Amazon.
What’s more, it’s the first effort in the brand’s history that successfully brought in a younger audience.
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