Media buys or jingles: What wins antacid sales?
Antacids have an outsized influence in media and advertising. “Plop, plop, fizz, fizz,” “Rolaids spells relief” and “Tum tum tum tum tuuuum!” are three of the most memorable taglines of all time, and they all hail from heartburn remedies. The sector is so near and dear to our hearts that a 1960s antacid tablet case is even stored at the Smithsonian.
In spite of this influence on our minds and our stomachs, antacid manufacturers as a category spend much less on advertising than the country’s biggest advertisers, which spend $1 billion or more annually to keep their brands top-of-mind.
So how do antacids steal so much mindshare? Perhaps it’s in their strategic advertising buys. While the largest marketers spend over $5 million on SuperBowl ads, most of the biggest-spending antacid brands are spending a significant portion of their TV budget on cable, leaning into repetition and niche targeting.
According to Alphonso data, Nexium — 2017’s leading antacid tablet brand in U.S. sales — spent $1.6 million on the four broadcast channels (CBS, ABC, NBC, and Fox) in September and nearly as much across many cable networks during that time period. Prilosec OTC, Nexium’s biggest challenger, spent $1.75 million on TV in September, with 63%, or $1.1 million, going to the cable networks. And, yes “Tum, tum, tum, tums” too! (Can you hear the Dragnet theme?) Tums spent $1.4 million on TV ad space, of that approximately 57%, or $800,000, was spent on cable. Alka-Seltzer spent over $1 million in September, with just 36% of that spend going to broadcast.
Zantac, on the other hand, shook this trend and spent largely on broadcast. Out of $1.25 million spent on TV in September, 67% went to broadcast, or $838,000, out of a total TV spend of $1.25 million. I’ll be keeping my eye out for its 2018 sales figures to see if it worked.
This all leads to my ultimate question: how influential is strategic, targeted TV media buying versus catchy jingles or slogans when It comes to mindshare in the antacid category? The answer: Likely very influential. While consumers might not be able to recite Nexium’s current slogan (it’s: “Imagine 24 hours without heartburn”), Nexium is the heartburn remedy brand they remember when they’re walking down the OTC aisle.
TS Kelly is senior vice president of research for Alphonso, a TV data company that provides real-time TV campaign analytics, one-to-one TV ad retargeting, and closed-loop attribution for brands and agencies. In his role at Alphonso, Kelly deep dives into television data and insights, giving clients guidance on how to optimize their TV spend.
Only 1-in-20 companies are elite
Many of today’s most compelling companies don’t just sell products — they create emotionally connected relationships with their customers. These exceptional organizations do two things very well: they design radically empathetic products or foster truly transparent relationships with their customers. They practice an “outward focus” and are adept at uncovering and solving problems customers may not even be aware of yet. The elite organizations are respected, admired and even liked. They care about how they show up. Yet, most organizations are not elite and here’s why.
Gallup’s latest State of the American Workplace research is essential reading for leaders looking to build and retain elite organizations. The most current survey extends to 31 million people and uncovered that over half of everyone in the workplace (51%) are searching for a new job.
The research showed that 78 percent of employees don’t believe their leadership has a clear direction for the organization. Similarly, 87 percent of employees do not strongly agree that their leaders communicate effectively. And Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends shows that only 8% of large companies believe their structure is optimized. Most teams are not in alignment and are partially checked out.
The Elite Behaviors
Research by Scott Kelly and Mary Meaney observed that when teams align on a common vision, they are 190% more likely to deliver above-median financial performance. High performing teams collectively (and internally) set a high bar for growth. My research estimates that 3%-to-5% percent of leaders and organizations are truly elite. What’s their secret?
- Elite teams commit to a set of values and culture which pulls them forward towards their higher calling. These organizations allow everyone to influence change and make critical decisions in the best interest of the enterprise. They hire curious talent who are committed to their own self-learning and development.
- Elite teams value psychological safety, allowing individuals to enter difficult conversations and voice dissent.
- Elite teams practice radical simplification, focusing instead on developing expertise and mastery within fewer domains. They protect tribal knowledge, institutionalizing and building on their distinct culture and capabilities.
We are not capable of becoming elite unless curiosity is fostered and context is expanded. High performers normally have a broader understanding of the context surrounding them, including exposure to diverse challenges, people, competitive threats, and customer requests. The highest performing teams are more well-rounded and comprised of diverse and varied viewpoints.
Elite organizations understand their calling, their team’s assets, and their unique communication styles. All of this self-analysis is meant to drive the best from each other.
They ask a different question: “Where do we need to focus and what do we need to learn in order to become distinct and elite?”
Dan Mack is the founder of Mack Elevation and a performance coach, strategist and the author of “Dark Horse: How Challenger Companies Rise to Prominence.”
Special Report: New General Market Purpose-Driven Summit
The retail game has changed — shifting consumer demographics, and the accompanying changes in demands — have forced retailers and suppliers to re-assess their approach. As Dan Mack explained at the outset of the New General Market Purpose-Driven Summit, put on by Drug Store News and Mack Elevation in June, “It’s about purpose. It’s about soul.”
It is no longer simply enough to put something on the shelf and expect it to sell — consumers need to feel connected to the brand they’re buying. The event brought together more than 100 retailer and supplier executives, who heard from seven speakers and three panels about the different ways purpose can play a role in growing their business. Click the links below to read the individual reports.
- Mack emphasizes need for high-level engagement
- Sundial’s Dennis emphasizes potential for needs-based innovation
- Panelists identify their brands’ driving forces
- Mastering the digital landscape
- Clarity through purpose
- Retail panelists seek alignment around purpose
- Gen Z emerges as influential digital-first segment
- Brands panelists look to build emotional connections
- Coty’s social listening yields results
- Brandless takes minimalist approach to purpose