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Marketer: GlaxoSmithKline Agencies: Ogilvy & Mather, MindShare, Grey, MediaCom

Cold remedy goes high tech and stuns passersby with a poster that coughs and sneezes

[Hong Kong] A GlaxoSmithKline marketing campaign to launch Panadol Cold & Flu Extra medication to North Asian consumers has taken an unusual high-tech route around Asia and through a number of WPP Group creative and media agencies. It all started last December in Taiwan. WPP Group's Ogilvy & Mather, Taipei, created a TV spot that introduced a man with a severe cold who seeks relief from the Panadol remedy after a dramatized, unexpected blow to the head highlights the man's extreme suffering.

Ogilvy's media partner and sibling WPP agency, MindShare, extended the creative brief to Taipei's subway network in February by hooking up poster sites to motion sensor technology and audio speakers so the ads made lifelike sneezing sounds when someone walked by.

The concept was taken a step further by WPP's Grey Worldwide agency and MediaCom media arm in Hong Kong in March to raise consumer awareness about Panadol in the face of stiff competition from better-established local brands like Coltalin and Neosed. An animated picture of a person suffering from a bad cold was placed on outdoor posters and bus shelters. The picture physically shudders, coughs and sneezes when people walk by in eight high-traffic areas.

"We expanded the idea in Hong Kong to bus shelters and brought the image to life with movement and sound," said Daniel Kong, general manager, MediaCom, Hong Kong.

MindShare, meanwhile, plans to expand the "sneezing ad" outdoor-advertising concept in Taiwan this winter using similar technology, according to Kesy Lee, Taipei-based deputy general manager, but she said the details had not been finalized.

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