Jack Cole's Campaign for Pepto featured in the New York Times.
Today, Wednesday, November 30th, the following article was published in the New York Times' Business Day: Media and Advertising section about the launch of Pepto Bismol's new holiday campaign, directed by Chelsea's hot comedic talent, Jack Cole for Publicis New York. The campaign launched Monday, November 28th across platforms, with television spots and web content.
"Too Much Holiday Food? This Campaign's for You"
The campaign highlights foods commonly found at holiday parties, featuring everything from Shrimp Cocktail, to Turducken, to Chocolate Fondue Fountains, with the tagline “Pepto Covers Them All: Eat, Drink & Be Covered.” Jack deftly directs each spot, bringing his unique comedic voice to the brand, and reminds us that Pepto Bismol is the perfect companion to the decadent foods of the holiday season. The tongue-in-cheek campaign pokes fun at many holiday clichés. Expect to see plenty of different iterations across media of this side-splittingly funny campaign throughout the holidays, and a lighter, more jovial side of the familiar household brand.
The New York Times article, which discusses the new campaign, Pepto and Publicis' strategy, and the charitable efforts that Pepto Bismol has made to counterbalance the comedy of overindulgence by combating hunger, has been reprinted below for convenience, and here is a link to the original article at the New York Times website as well: New York Times: "Too Much Holiday Food? This Campaign's for You".
Keep an eye out for this great campaign from Chelsea's own Jack Cole this holiday season. Below the article, take a look at a sampling of the spots if you haven't yet seen them!
By Andrew Adam Newman
November 29, 2011
PEPTO-BISMOL, the brand of stomach remedies, traditionally has highlighted the symptoms it relieves, with commercials in the 1970s featuring pained-looking actors whose torsos expanded as if reflected in funhouse mirrors, and the promise that the pink product “coats, soothes, relieves.”
Another campaign, which ran from 2003 to 2007, featured five nauseated actors doing a Macarena-like dance, with each chanting and pantomiming a symptom the product promised to relieve: nausea, heartburn, indigestion, upset stomach, diarrhea. The campaign ended with the tagline, “Pink does more than you think.”
A new campaign takes a decidedly more appetizing approach, however, showing revelers at holiday parties gathered around spreads of food, while only hinting at the fact that overindulging may cause gastrointestinal distress.
In one of the new commercials, an actress near a large tray of shrimp says to an actor, “Every year, so much shrimp cocktail — where do you think it all comes from?”
With a smile, he responds, “Elves.” The spot then cuts to a fishing boat on stormy seas where a crew of Santa’s helpers struggles with ropes and sloshing water. When the commercial returns to the party, the woman, giggling, says, “Stop it,” followed by this on-screen text: “7.3 billion shrimp. 46 million holiday parties. Pepto covers them all. Eat, drink and be covered.”
The commercial, by Publicis Worldwide, New York, part of the Publicis Groupe, began running on Monday.
Other commercials adhere to the same format of holiday gatherings and highlighting data about food consumption. Web videos, meanwhile, feature a wisecracking elf from the fishing boat answering questions posed by characters from the commercials, such as “How many chocolate Santas are consumed annually?” (19 million).
Pepto-Bismol spent $8.9 million on advertising in 2010, according to the Kantar Media unit of WPP.
Among stomach remedy liquids — a category distinct from antacid brands like Prilosec, Prevacid and Tums — Pepto-Bismol has a commanding 48 percent share, ahead of private label or store brands, with 29.2 percent; and Phillips, with 22.4 percent, according to data for the 52 weeks ending Oct. 30 from the Symphony IRI Group, whose totals do not include Wal-Mart. Among stomach remedy tablets, Pepto-Bismol has a 72.7 share, ahead of private labels, with 22.8 percent.
“Pepto-Bismol is in about 40 percent of households, which is one of the highest percentages for Proctor & Gamble household brands,” said Patrick Lockwood-Taylor, the vice president of the North American personal health care division at P.& G., citing consumer research by the brand. “But only about 7 percent of people claim to have used it in the past 12 months.”
Associating the brand with holiday festivities is meant to spur purchases and to remind consumers to be sure that, when they are distressed from overeating, they have the product on hand.
“What we’re trying to bring alive is that this is a product to use postcelebration, and to bring the brand more front-of-mind, so people use it more,” Mr. Taylor said.
Pepto-Bismol also featured parties in a holiday campaign last year, in a commercial and Web videos featuring the comic actor Ken Jeong, who appears at subdued gatherings where he chides people for “underindulging,” then brings in a table of rich food, a D.J. and a disco ball.
Elizabeth Ming, a spokeswoman in Procter’s digestive wellness division, said the brand used to advertise steadily throughout the year, but now took a “pulsed marketing approach where we focus our spending and our efforts around times when we know people are celebrating.”
In the last year, for instance, the brand ran commercials and videos tied to Cinco de Mayo. And, on the Fourth of July, for the second consecutive year, Pepto-Bismol served as a sponsor of a Coney Island event where overeating is never inadvertent: the Nathan’s hot dog eating contest.
While the commercials make light of overeating, in a charitable effort tied to Thanksgiving, Pepto-Bismol addresses the opposite: hunger.
A Facebook campaign called “Feast for All” ran from Nov. 8 through Nov. 25 and featured the actor Eric Stonestreet of “Modern Family.” When Facebook users clicked the “like” button on a photo of the actor with a roast turkey, the brand donated eight meals to Feeding America, a nonprofit group. The goal was to garner 250,000 clicks for the equivalent of two million meals.
Feeding America calculates that every dollar donated to the organization provides food — much of it donated, too — for eight meals. For every click Pepto-Bismol would donate $1 — a total of $250,000 if the goal were met. While Pepto-Bismol ended up barely making it halfway to its goal for clicks, it announced it would donate the full $250,000 anyway.
Procter’s marketing efforts generally are tied directly to highlighting a brand’s attributes, like the Loads of Hope programwhere a mobile laundry is dispatched to disaster areas to wash clothes with its Tide brand. The Power Relief program also is dispatched by Procter to disaster areas to distribute Duracell batteries and flashlights, while the company’s Dawn dish soap is donated to groups that use it to clean birds fouled by oil spills.
While the recent Pepto-Bismol charitable effort did not showcase the product itself, it still reflected well on the brand, according to Carol Cone, managing director for brand and corporate citizenship at Edelman, the marketing and public relations firm.
“It’s very well aligned,” said Ms. Cone. “Those of us who tend to overeat on Thanksgiving because everything is so delicious can think, ‘I have too much in my belly, but here’s a brand that’s doing something for people who don’t.’ ”
*A version of this article appeared in print on November 30, 2011 on page B2 of the New York edition with the headline: "Too Much Holiday Food? This Campaign's for You."
And now, without further ado, take a look at a couple of the spots here: