J&J's Tylenol Delves Deeper Into Changing American Family

New Campaign Features Gay, Biracial and Immigrant Families Among Others

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Johnson & Johnson's Tylenol today breaks a new #HowWeFamily campaign that celebrates the diversity of modern families -- depicting gay, lesbian, immigrant and biracial families in a 30-second spot from J. Walter Thompson, New York.

The work builds on Tylenol's modern take on the Norman Rockwell family last December -- which kicked off its "What Matters Most" campaign -- with a new full-fledged integrated effort.

The new campaign's initial TV ad, which will begin airing on TV next week, is part of a three-month effort that will include in-depth videos on 10 real families from around the U.S., a "docu-short" on changing American families, and results of a national survey on families, all housed on a microsite -- HowWeFamily.com. Actress Gabrielle Union and psychiatrist and columnist Gail Saltz will serve as spokeswomen for the program.

"What we realized over time is what matters most to people is their family and their health," said Manoj Raghunandanan, senior director-marketing of J&J's McNeil Consumer Healthcare.

J&J also found the initial response to the December effort brought significant improvement in brand-equity scores on such survey questions as "this is a brand that understands me," Mr. Raghunandanan said. And the December work appeared to boost sales and share, both of which rose late last year and early this year despite the brand putting no other advertising support behind its Extra Strength Tylenol flagship products during that period, Mr. Raghunandanan said.

So how does it make sense for an over-the-counter pain reliever to make emotional connections and weigh in on the growing diversity of American families?

"For 60 years we've been serving all families, and we want to continue to serve them for the next 60," Mr. Raghunandanan said. "And the reality that we know today is that families look and feel different than they did before, and we want to celebrate that fact. Because we're a family brand, because we're an iconic American brand, and we want to continue to serve families into the future, I think it's important that we reflect what that family is today."

Positive feedback to the work in December was a sign that people see Tylenol as having an appropriate voice on the issue, he said. Among families to be profiled in the new video series is one with two moms facing health challenges, and an immigrant family from Nigeria who believe strongly in maintaining connection through traditions. The HowWeFamily survey found that 82% of respondents wouldn't change anything about their families in order to better fit a social norm.

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