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Help Remedies expands distribution of OTC products

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK — Help Remedies, a New York-based creator of "minimalist" over-the-counter medicine, on Tuesday announced national distribution for its line of single-ingredient nonprescription remedies through Walgreens.

Help Remedies is co-joining that national distribution with a "Take Less" ad slogan. That may seem counterintuitive at first, but it’s a message expected to gel with younger demographics who are less brand-loyal than their parents and grandparents, noted Richard Fine, Help Remedies CEO and former ad executive. It’s a campaign, and product, that should hold some sway with consumers interested in more eco-friendly products, as well as consumers concerned about ingesting too many OTC medicines.

In an attempt to advertise on the pages those younger eyeballs might actually be reading, Help Remedies is announcing the national launch by taking the leaderboard banner on NYTimes.com, in place of buying a page in the New York Times daily. "The [OTC] category is very staid," Fine told Drug Store News. "There is a way of doing things, which you offer ‘maximum strength,’ you put a big TV campaign together and you spend a lot of money," he said. That’s the way marketers have been reaching people over the past generation, he said. "You don’t need to go after people by chatting at them through TV, you can do interesting things online [or] you can have a conversation with people on Facebook."

In that regard, Help Remedies unveiled its website in conjunction with the launch this past Friday and will be helping to promote trial of the brand through active participation on several social media portals, including Facebook. The "Take Less" proposition being communicated to consumers:

  • Less drugs: All of Help’s medicines are made with single active ingredients;

  • Less dyes: Help’s drugs are made with no dyes and the fewest possible coatings. According to Help, much of the coating and colors on popular drugs is decoration with no medical benefit; and

  • Less confusion: Each product is titled after the symptom it is meant to solve (e.g., help I have allergies).

"It’s almost impossible to explain this in one go," Fine said. "Which is why online is such a great media for us." Online is a fluid medium, Fine added, where a message that captures a consumer’s attention can be revisited and spread virally through such social media sites as Facebook.

The “Take Less” message and Help’s seven OTC products has been expanded into more than 7,500 Walgreens nationwide and enjoys current retail distribution including Duane Reade, Pharmaca, select Target stores and boutique hotels.


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PTCB marks National Pharmacy Technician Day

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON — The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board is partnering with American Greetings to promote Pharmacy Technician Day on Tuesday, the PTCB said.

The two developed an interactive e-card that people can send to pharmacy technicians to show their appreciation.

The PTCB also gave some ideas about how pharmacies can celebrate their technicians, including breakfast buffets, luncheons and dessert receptions; PTCB gear presented as tokens of appreciation; letters of appreciation; banners and others.

The card is available here.


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Heavy hITters: DSN examines leading healthcare IT companies in exclusive digital report

BY Rob Eder

Tens of billions of dollars have flooded into health IT in recent years, making that sector "as sexy an [investment] as social media and gaming," experts say.

Click here to download the exclusive DSN digital report, and find out what 15 leading pharmacy services companies — traditionalists and start-ups alike — are doing to bring new innovation to the HIT segment.

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