HEALTH

When spring fevers hit

BY TS Kelly

The weather may be getting warmer, but a cold or flu doesn’t care if it is sunny outside. While most would relegate concerns about colds and the flu to the winter months, sniffling, sneezing, a sore throat, and soaring fever can strike on the most beautiful of spring days. In fact, according to Scarborough, over 88 million Americans bought over-the-counter cold and flu medications last spring alone.

Alphonso data reveals that although spend is not nearly as high as during the frigid months of January and February, Procter & Gamble, Reckitt Benckiser and Mylan invested in television airtime throughout April to ensure that their respective remedies would end up in the hands of consumers — despite the daffodils.

P&G was far and away the top spender, airing several commercials for its Vicks brand during the month – for both DayQuil and NyQuil. The total spend was over $440,000. That might seem like a mere sniffle compared to the millions they invested in television ads when snow was in the forecast, but they made sure that their springtime spend worked hard.

NyQuil TV spots were aimed across dozens of networks, ranging from Logo to ESPN U, OWN to Nickelodeon’s [email protected] and CMT to Discovery Family. The ads aired on an equally diverse range of programming as well, from reruns of the sitcom “George Lopez” to “College Football,“ and “America’s Funniest Home Videos” to the daytime talk show “Pickler and Ben.”

Alphonso commercial dataFor the most part, the focus for DayQuil was much more targeted — in this case, to college sports fans. A commercial featuring a father-of-the-bride trying to take a “sick day” — rather than walk his daughter down the aisle — received numerous April airings on collegiate baseball, softball, and football games.

Widening reach into the Hispanic market, Vicks NyQuil also aired a Spanish-language spot. But, even that ad made its way to sports lovers on “Futbol Premier League.”

Reckitt Benckiser tried to capture consumer mindshare for its Mucinex brand, with two commercials airing primarily on Nickelodeon’s Nick Junior block of programming, Universal Kids, and Discovery Life.

While a smaller player in the cold and flu relief field, Mylan’s Cold-Eeze also bought TV time in April, chiefly focusing on CNN and Headline News with their television ad spend.

So, while it is clear from Alphonso data that investment in TV ads for cold and flu remedies are at their peak in the winter months, cold and flu drug makers’ are still putting limited funds in action while the sun doth shine. And, considering the numbers of people who purchase these types of medications in the spring, OTC drug companies may want to raise higher stakes for television in the warmer months.


TS Kelly of AlphonsoTS 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.

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Bausch + Lomb brings new eye redness treatment to retail

BY Michael Johnsen

Bausch + Lomb on Monday launched Lumify (brimonidine tartrate ophthalmic solution 0.025%), an over-the-counter eye drop developed with low-dose brimonidine tartrate for the treatment of eye redness.

“With the availability of Lumify, consumers now have an innovative, over-the-counter treatment option that can help relieve red, irritated eyes within a minute and offer up to eight hours of redness reduction,” Joseph Papa, chairman and CEO of Bausch + Lomb parent company Valeant, said. “Lumify is unlike other redness relievers on the market and will provide consumers a new welcomed alternative.”

Eye redness is a common, non-specific issue that affects millions of people. Other redness relievers are commonly associated with the potential side effects of rebound redness and loss of efficacy over time. Lumify works by selectively targeting redness and thereby reducing the potential for these side effects.

In clinical trials, Lumify eye drops demonstrated 95% improvement at one minute with significant results lasting up to eight hours. A recent in-home-use-study with more than 300 participants also resulted in a 95% satisfaction rating for the product.

“Lumify eye drops deliver a safe and effective redness relieving OTC option that my patients have been asking for,” Paul Karpecki, director of Corneal Services at Kentucky Eye Institute, said. “I am excited to introduce these new eye drops into my practice and offer my patients long-lasting symptom relief without the adverse effects commonly associated with other redness relievers.”

Lumify is available for purchase at retailers nationwide, including Walgreens, CVS, Rite Aid, Walmart, Target and Amazon. The bottles, available in 2.5 mL and 7.5 mL sizes, have suggested retail prices of $14.99 and $25.99, respectively.

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Fitbit smartwatch apps updated for Diplomat, Walgreens and others

BY Michael Johnsen

Fitbit on Monday introduced several new apps and clock faces to help people better manage their health for users of smartwatches, including updates for Diplomat Pharmacy and Walgreens apps.

“Smartwatches provide a powerful platform to deliver important health tools that help our users manage conditions more conveniently than ever before. With these apps and clock faces, we continue to deliver on our promise to bring important health information to the wrist,” James Park, CEO Fitbit, said. “With our strong consumer engagement, cross-platform compatibility and intuitive software and services we have become a wearable partner of choice for leaders across the healthcare industry. Together, we aim to inspire positive behavior change that can ultimately improve health outcomes and reduce costs.”

Built using Fitbit’s software development kit, the apps and clock faces provide Fitbit smartwatch users new options to improve wellness and help manage conditions, like diabetes and some types of cancer. Additionally, the apps will give health plans, employers and clinical researchers new opportunities to better support their users outside of a clinical environment, helping lead to positive health outcomes.

More than 18,000 developers have joined Fitbit’s developer community and are actively creating content. Through the SDK, developers are finding new ways to meet the needs of people across the continuum of care.

Additions include new tools from healthcare leaders like Diplomat, the nation’s largest independent provider of specialty pharmacy services and leading health. “People with chronic and rare diseases face numerous hurdles, from juggling complex treatment plans to navigating their own healthcare benefits. At Diplomat, our goal is to provide innovative tools and services to patients,” Jeff Park, interim CEO Diplomat, said. “With this specialty pharmacy patient engagement tool, oncology patients would have a more intuitive way to manage their therapy regimen.”

New developments include updates to the Walgreens app, which allows FitBit users to locate their closest Walgreens pharmacy, view Balance Rewards points and save money on Walgreens purchases.

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