Need for self-care as cost-cutting tool will take $21 billion OTC industry higher
WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT — Even as Justice Antonin Scalia suggested that mandating all Americans buy healthcare insurance was akin to Big Government saying to Joe Consumer, "Hey, eat your broccoli," one underlying theme became apparent: Health care isn’t cheap and won’t be getting any cheaper — unless everybody does in fact eat their broccoli. And that makes the value inherent in self-care, the cost-savings readily associated with the use of over-the-counter medicines and nutritional supplements, an evergreen proposition. Already more than 2% growth to $21.4 billion? Doesn’t matter what shape Obamacare’s health reform takes, OTC will be a big winner going forward.
(THE NEWS: Kline unveils 2011 drivers of U.S. OTC market. For the full story, click here.)
As bureaucrats attempt to balance the needs of a nation on a pinnacle of health care, on the ground floor the market is what’s pushing more consumers toward lower-cost, consumer-directed health care. And that’s thanks to a number of factors, including, but not limited to, advancements in communication technology — there’s an app for that — employers turning to wellness and prevention for healthcare cost savings, the proliferation of clinical offerings in a retail setting (e.g., pharmacist-delivered vaccinations, retail clnics) and Rx-to-OTC switch, a cost-savings driver around which the Food and Drug Administration just last week held a public meeting to discuss how to make more medicines available without a prescription through the use of that technology and to take advantage of that proliferation in clinical offerings.
And that techno-clinical marriage may be a lot closer to producing a viable switch candidate than you might think. The technology already exists (check out Continua Health or next year’s Consumer Electronics Show). The clinical environment already is established and hungry for innovation (Retail Clinician Education Congress). And all it’s going to take to really get this new paradigm off the floor is that first spark. And that’s when the business of over-the-counter medicines really begins to take off.
Etch A Sketch responds to political comment with new campaign
BRYAN, Ohio — After being thrust into the political arena, Ohio Art has launched a series of ads designed to maintain the political neutrality of its classic drawing toy.
Ohio Art announced that its advertising agency, Team Detroit, has launched three ads for the company’s Etch A Sketch product. The campaign followed comments made by a political aide of presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who said, "you hit a reset button for the fall campaign. Everything changes. It’s almost like an Etch A Sketch. You can kind of shake it up and we start all over again."
The campaign, which is supported by a revamped "Shake It Up, America" website, launched on Facebook and Twitter along with a series of clever posts and tweets. The ads feature fun visuals and catchy slogans such as "Etch A Sketch is a lot like politics, there’s a lot of gray area," "Politically we lean right down the middle, which way did you lean?" and "We have a left knob and a right knob for each political party (But remember, when both work together, we can do loop de loops)."
"With Etch A Sketch shaking up the political debate, it was our desire to develop a campaign that encourages Americans to get involved in the process and vote," Ohio Art SVP marketing and product development Martin Killgallon said. "We feel these ads are fun and engaging and will continue to keep people interested throughout the remaining presidential campaign."
Added Team Detroit SVP group account director David Maas, "Etch A Sketch doesn’t take political sides. We believe that when the left hand and the right hand work together, magic happens and these ads were developed to convey that message."
Dollar General celebrates 10,000th store opening
GOODLETTSVILLE, Tenn. — One of Dollar General’s first stores in California also has the distinction of being the retailer’s 10,000th store, the company said.
Dollar General announced Friday that its landmark store, located in Merced, Calif., has given the retailer a coast-to-coast presence for the first time in the company’s history.
"Opening the doors of our 10,000th store is a meaningful day for all of us at Dollar General, and we are excited to celebrate the occasion in California," Dollar General chairman and CEO Rick Dreiling said. "This milestone reiterates our commitment to bringing unmatched convenience and value to customers across the nation."
Dollar General now operates stores in 39 states.