CASSIES Bronze: Fisherman’s Friend tackles first world problems

The no-nonsense "Suck It Up" campaign by Giants & Gentlemen took inspiration from the brand's Original Extra Strong product.

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This article appears in the March 2018 issue of strategy.

+ Bronze: Brand Reawakening

While Fisherman’s Friend had enjoyed long-term growth, its core consumer was aging. Past efforts to adopt a more youthful tone had failed. The brand had previously focused on popular sweet flavours, interrupting the core rugged essence of the Fisherman’s Friend brand.

There was an opportunity to turn the distinct taste of its leading SKU – Original Extra Strong – into a positive trigger among those under 40. “Suck It Up” TV ads leveraged the brand’s heritage to bring perspective to how society has created a bunch of softies with first-world problems.

Launched in November 2015 with the help of Giants & Gentlemen, #SuckItUp trolled people posting about first-world problems on Twitter. This was supported by partnerships and activations with Tough Mudder and CFL teams, as well as “Suck It Up” moments during Sportsnet’s morning highlights.


November 2016 saw a record 40% growth in sales compared to 2015. Momentum continued in 2017, with sales up another 35% in Q1. As of July 2017, Fisherman’s Friend saw a 23% increase in dollar sales. Fisherman’s Friend Twitter followers grew 115%.