Swiss Ricola Confectionery boosts ad spend to woo young

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LONDON -- Ricola, the Swiss medicated herbal confectionery brand, is more than doubling its marketing spend this year in a switch of strategy to appeal to younger people.

The sugar-free Ricola, which was backed by $3 million last year, is to plough $7.7 million into advertising, public relations and retailer support. First up will be a $2.5 million TV ad campaign during Eurosport's satellite coverage of the Olympic Games. It will also run throughout the rest of the summer.

The campaign, which is expected to be seen by 1.2 million adults on every day of the Olympics, features a futuristic rap group whose vocal problems are solved by Ricola. "It's a decisive move away from the brand's traditional Alpine creative treatment," admits Robert Smith, sales and marketing director of Stockport-based U.K. distributor Cedar Health. "Our last TV campaign increased sales...however, we feel this will help us to increase retail sales by appealing to an even wider audience during a peak period for television viewing."

The last "Yodeller" campaign targeted the over-30s, whereas this will focus on 15- to 30-year-olds, says a company spokeswoman."If you go for younger people, they will continue buying it for longer," she adds.

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