HEALTH

Olly partners with Ellen DeGeneres, Kristen Bell

BY Michael Johnsen

Olly is embarking on its biggest marketing push to date with a campaign that culminates in “Bad Mom” star Kristen Bell “momsplaining” to women on the popular daytime talkshow “The Ellen Show” that’s headlined by Ellen DeGeneres.

The San Francisco-based supplement manufacturer partnered with Yard NYC on the new campaign, called Happy Inside Out, representing a $10 million ad spend. The campaign addresses what’s inside every Olly that makes it so good at keeping consumers happy on the outside, showcasing a series of colorful videos that tell the story of each Olly product with a style and playfulness rarely seen in this category.

The campaign includes television, mobile, social, in store and digital creative. The year-long campaign will be featured across more than 65 cable networks, 40% of which will be aired during prime time on shows like “Wheel of Fortune,” “Jeapardy,” “Access Hollywood,” “Bones” and “Scandal.”

The campaign will also make a big splash on “The Ellen Show,” where Olly is sponsoring “You’re Doing It Mom,” a six-episode digital series starring Bell tht is expected to enerated more than 500 million views.

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HEALTH

Flu hospitalizations highest this decade, CDC reports

BY Michael Johnsen

There has been little abatement in the flu season this week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Friday morning. The CDC added that illness related to influenza-like activity climbed to 7.1% nationwide and hospitalizations related to the flu has been the highest recorded this decade.

“This is a very difficult season, the hospitalization rate is the highest that we’ve seen,” Anne Schuchat, CDC acting director, said. “We aren’t out of the woods yet, but there are steps everyone can take to fight the flu.”

Schuchat advised parents to be pro-active in taking their children to the pediatrician if they being monitoring one of several “worrisome” signs. “It’s so important for people to speak to their healthcare provider about their child, but in general worrisome signs are very high, persistent fever, difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, rapid heart beat or shallow rapid breathing or significant tiredness or confusion,” she said. “In very young children, those kinds of symptoms are going to be difficult to assess. We really do think a call to the pediatrician or the nurse hotline is very important.”

The virulent season this year has certainly caught the industry off guard with reports of spot shortages of the anti-viral Tamiflu and flu tests. “We continue to hear reports of crowded hospitals and sport shortages of antiviral medications and rapid influenza tests,” Schuchat said. “Unfortunately, our latest tracking data indicate that flu activity is still high and widespread across of the nation and increasing overall.”

In addition, the Food and Drug Administration on Thursday warned of continued shortages of IV saline bags that’s being exasperated by the high hospitalizations associated with this year’s flu. “We recognize that managing the thousands of flu-related hospitalizations has increased the demand for certain saline products – which are commonly used to both hydrate and deliver medications via intravenous routes,” Scott Gottlieb, FDA commissioner, said in a release issued Thursday. “As we’ve shared over the past several months, across the country, there remains a shortage of IV saline bags, which have long faced supply issues. These supply issues were worsened by the impact of Hurricane Maria on the medical products manufacturing sector in Puerto Rico, which impacted small volume IV bags. Although the saline shortage is improving, this year’s worse-than-normal flu season and workarounds deployed by health care providers in the wake of this shortage have increased demand for saline and other products.”

In light of widespread reports that this year’s flu vaccines are not matching well with the prevalent H3N2 strain this year, the CDC is still recommending people get their flu shot this year if they have not done so already. “Even though we know most flu vaccines have low effectiveness against H3N2 viruses [the strain that’s predominant this season], effectiveness against other flu viruses is better and there is more than just one flu virus circulating this season,” Schuchat said. “The vaccine may also reduce the severity of symptoms if you catch the flu in spite of being vaccinated. And it’s not too late to get the vaccine.”

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HEALTH

Cold busters: New products tout prevention, relief

BY Michael Johnsen

Gojo Keeps Hands Clean Beyond Sanitizer
Recently, Gojo expanded its Purell brand of products with the launch of Purell Healthy Soap and Purell Multi-Surface Disinfectant. Purell Healthy Soaps are specially formulated mild lotion soaps with natural moisturizers that the company said can leave skin healthier than regular soap. Gojo also touts Healthy Soap’s ability to nourish the skin while cleaning to support the skin’s natural ability to protect against dirt and germs, as well as its status as a USDA Certified Biobased product. Fellow newcomer Purell Multi-Surface Disinfectant is one of 10 disinfectants to receive the EPA’s Category IV lowest toxicity rating. Of the 10, it has the fastest overall disinfection times for bacteria and viruses than any other disinfectant product, Gojo noted.

Sambucol Gets Gummy
Pharmacare has extended its lineup of black elderberry products with the launch of Sambucol Gummies. The gummies are pectin-based, naturally sweetened with no artificial colors, and are suitable for vegetarians and vegans, the company said. Pharmacare noted that Sambucol is a unique black elderberry extract rich in immune-supporting flavonoids — powerful, natural antioxidants that are thought to work to protect the body’s cells from the potential damage caused by free radicals. According to the Department of Agriculture, the highest concentration of anthocyanins is found in black elderberries.

Lifelab’s Honey Business
Lifelab Health is launching a USDA Organic honey line called Honey Works, featuring SKUs for both cough syrup and a metered-dose throat spray for children and adults. Lifelab Health said consumer focus groups found that people sick with a cold seek natural remedies first, and the company identified a need gap in the lack of a natural alternative to a medicated throat spray. Lifelab Health is planning a robust marketing campaign in time for the 2018-19 season that will range from digital placement to television commercials highlighting the brand tagline: “Don’t forget your Honey!” Suggested retail price for the Organic Honey Works sprays will be $5.99, while the syrups will retail for a suggested $8.99.

Boiron Speeds Up Sore Throat Relief
Launched in Spring 2017, Boiron’s ThroatCalm relieves sore throat pain instead of merely numbing it with such ingredients as benzocaine. Company officials said that ThroatCalm’s quick-dissolve tablet delivery system also appeals to sore throat sufferers who may have difficulty swallowing. Boiron’s red packaging strengthens the connection with a red and sore throat, and the name helps create a brand block along with Boiron’s cold medicine, ColdCalm, the company said.

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