When Xyzal, a prescription allergy medicine, decided to go OTC in 2017, the challenges were many. First, it was entering a highly-competitive category dominated by established players with deep pockets. Second, it had zero brand recognition. And third, no one knew how to pronounce the name. So, how do you drive trial for an unknown product no one can pronounce? With a smart strategy and a wise spokesman.
As a new player in a crowded field, the most un-wise thing Xyzal could do is blend in. In an OTC category filled with parity products, we had to differentiate ourselves with a unique and relevant efficacy claim: Xyzal is the allergy medicine that’s just as effective at hour 24 as it is at hour one. But a distinctive claim solves only part of the problem. How can we get people to remember the brand name, much less pronounce it? The answer lay in the creation of a memorable spokesperson. Or, more accurately, Spokesowl. With the help of Framestore, an Academy Award-winning animation house, PureRED created Nigel – a charismatic owl who extoled the many benefits of Xyzal. Nigel not only delivered the brand story with charm and panache, but he also coined an infectious tagline that taught consumers how to pronounce the name: “Be wise, all. Take Xyzal.”
Within one week of the launch, it became clear that Nigel was a wise choice indeed. He logged over 3.5 million YouTube views, became the 2nd most digitally engaging ad of the week*, and proved so popular he was interviewed by Stephen Colbert on The Late Show. Before long, consumers everywhere were asking for Xyzal by name. And first year sales are on pace to exceed client expectations.
*iSpot TV 3/20/17
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