AToMiC 2019: Starting afresh with different insights

How brands old and new took bold approaches to securing consumer loyalty.

motrinThis article appears in the March/April 2019 issue of Strategy.

The Win: Johnson & Johnson/Motrin “Tina’s Uterus” by OneMethod
Gold Shift

Lifetime brand loyalty is a real hurdle for upstarts and underdogs who go head-to-head with heritage players. Many stick by the same bank that opened their first account; and they reach for the same painkiller their parents once stocked in their childhood home. Desperate times call for unorthodox measures, like when lesser-known brands Koho and Motrin created content that went outside traditional category lines.

In late 2018, Motrin was on the verge of being delisted. It had a mere 3.5% market share and a pretty painful business outlook.

Most big painkiller brands focus on performance, not Motrin. To gain share, the brand decided to speak to a new audience (millennials) via an old pain point (menstrual cramps).

Women are often quite frank about menstrual pain. Considering how skeptical young women are about advertising, Motrin had to speak their language, which it did via “Tina’s Uterus.”

TV and online spots, by OneMethod, portrayed employees coming up with ideas for Tina’s menstrual pain, before a siren interrupts to indicate that Motrin had been ingested and relief was imminent.

The spots were shared by women tagging their friends and commenting on the authentic approach, leading to a 480% increase in awareness and more than doubling purchase intent. As a result, Motrin is no longer being delisted, with “Tina’s Uterus” literally saving the brand.

Dreaming up a new fintech brand
dreamthievesThe Win: Koho’s “Dream Thieves” by Cossette
Gold IP

For Koho’s launch in Canada, awareness was critical. With over 50% of consumers sticking with the same bank for more than half their lives, the startup needed to get attention. The idea was to wake people up to the reality that the current banking system benefits the banks, not them. So the brand and Cossette produced a 13-minute spot called “Dream Thieves.” The commercial-cum-film tells the (fictitious) story of how banks sneak into homes at night, literally harvesting people’s dreams.

The strategy centred around creating compelling content that people would seek out and share. To date, the video has received over 1.3 million completed views, all of which was generated with zero traditional media spend.