CASSIES Silver: Reactine gets serious

JWT’s “Not Just Allergies” campaign propels the Johnson & Johnson brand ahead of the competition.

SILVER: Packaged Goods Food/Other

Situation Analysis: For years, Claritin and Reactine had battled for allergy share, and in 2005 Reactine finally took over as leader, in part due to its long-running Blue Van campaign. However, this new leadership had been realized largely by the decline of Claritin share (to Aerius and private label). Compounding this, creative test scores for the Blue Van were beginning to show signs of weakness. Reactine needed a
new idea.

Strategy & Insight: Reactine is highly effective as a product, but equity research revealed a weak relationship with consumers; it was “about the same as every other brand.” Then a compelling truth emerged. Category advertising had relied on humour to drive intrusion – often at the expense of the sufferer. Neither Reactine nor the category had taken allergies seriously. This turned into a rallying cry for the brand: to demonstrate that it understood allergy sufferers. Never again would their suffering be dismissed as “just allergies.”
Execution: The new “It’s not just allergies” campaign launched in March 2010 with TV spots in English and French Canada. They played off the multiple symptoms that sufferers deal with, showing that Reactine genuinely understands what they go through, and ending with the line “Reactine – Serious about Allergies.”

Results: For the launch year, Reactine’s dollar volume was up +14% vs. 2009. Market share, which had been gradually declining, turned around. Within three months of launch, Reactine realized a record high adult share of 26.7%, and by May 2011 this had hit a new high at 28%.

Cause & Effect: Adlab results showed a marked increase in intrusion and relevance (info was provided) and there were no significant changes in media spend, pricing, distribution or promotional effort.


Johnson & Johnson
marketing director: Anna Caravaggio
group brand directors: Jesse Weis, Maria Gregory
senior brand managers: Nate Notwell, Sabrina Zollo, Alan Ross
associate brand manager: Cydney Taylor
consumer & shopper insights manager: Amanda Minacs

EVP, ECD: Martin Shewchuk
VP group account director: Monique Zarry
group account director: Danielle Rice
account supervisor: Yasmine Saade
group creative head, writer: Jed Churcher
group creative head, AD: Doug Maugham
VP director of planning: Jack Perone

Click here to return to the list of winning cases