Tylenol hits the gym for launch

By Published on .

Showing up at the point of pain. That's not the association most brands would want, but it's where newly launched Tylenol 8 Hour wants to be, said John McDonagh, the brand's marketing director.

So to support its biggest product launch in a decade, Johnson & Johnson's McNeil Consumer & Specialty Pharmaceuticals' Tylenol is partnering with Bally Total Fitness, placing Tylenol 8 Hour at that potential pain point while helping it reach out to a new demographic of 18-to-34-year-olds.

"We recognize that these are people who are under-treating their aches and pains. They subscribe to a no-pain, no-gain kind of thing," Mr. McDonagh said. "We want to be there reminding them that they don't have to feel it."

But simple signage and sampling was not enough to reach this marketing-savvy group, said Bill Rosen, chief creative officer at Publicis Groupe's Frankel, which helped secure the partnership and create the launch promotion. "We wanted the Bally's clientele to interact with the Tylenol brand in a way that is relevant to them," he said.

`pro power'

Bally's fitness experts helped develop six "Pro Power" training programs inspired by high-performance sports, brought to gym-goers by Tylenol 8 Hour. The workouts are touted on vertical banners, cylindrical kiosks, take-home training guides, floor decals and even cardio equipment in 363 Bally's locations beginning this month and continuing through October. The displays maintain the signature red the Tylenol brand is known for, but refresh it with a contemporary graphic style. Street-cast athletes, not models, keep the images authentic to the audience, said Mr. Rosen.

Cycling, basketball and soccer-inspired workouts rolled out this month; football, tennis and running will make their appearance in August. "Paint the Gym Red" events, featuring appearances by professional athletes like former Chicago Bull B.J. Armstrong and workout demonstrations occurred mid-May in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles.

On-premise coupons and sampling will complement the program, and workouts will be detailed on a Tylenol 8 Hour microsite.

Reinforcing the new targeting are four TV spots and six print ads by Publicis' Saatchi & Saatchi, New York. Using the tagline "Not playing is not an option," the high-intensity spots showcase consumers' active, strenuous lifestyles. The work shows "an entirely new face for Tylenol," said Saatchi Group Account Director Cindy Kemp, one that is "very frontal and dynamic."

Tylenol 8 Hour's launch comes at a time when other pain relievers seem to be curbing their marketing dollars (see chart, below). Tylenol, however, upped its spending in measured media from $80 million in 2001 to $110 million in 2002, according to TNS Media Intelligence/CMR.

With Tylenol 8 Hour "we are really breaking new ground," said Mr. McDonagh, adding that there is a substantial opportunity for Tylenol to increase market share by reaching younger consumers.

Most Popular