Tylenol

Situation

Tylenol had always been one of the great American brands. But in the world of competitive and often parity pain relief, it was hard for a “safe” traditional brand to seem like a modern and relevant choice.

In fact, Tylenol had a lot of progressive news and fresh, scientific facts to bring consumers that would naturally lead them to choose Tylenol instead of Advil or Aleve. But it was kept quiet by years of traditional, warm and fuzzy advertising that felt good but no longer stood out.

Approach

The creative set out to give Tylenol a new voice as not just the seller of pills, but of a philosophy. By taking and owning a point-of-view on pain and pain relief, Tylenol could become not just a stronger competitor, but a visionary leader of the category.

With a straightforward yet bold, branded approach, the campaign “Stop. Think. Tylenol.” asked consumers not just to buy a pill, but to reconsider the way they treated their pain. By simply telling the truth about itself, Tylenol got back into consumer’s minds as a leadership brand.

Results

“Stop. Think.” reversed a historical, eight-year sales decline within the first month of the campaign – with no increase in spending. Tylenol gained share in ’04 and again in ‘O5. And in one year, household penetration increased by 6% – even as category penetration was contracting (-5%). In fact, over the same time period, Advil lost over 11% in household penetration.

Tylenol’s sub-brands also succeeded with “Stop. Think”. When Rapid Release Gels launched, awareness reached 87% within three months, 27 points above goal of 60%. Tylenol Arthritis, the campaign grew unaided awareness 32%. And the once-declining Children’s Tylenol franchise turned around as well. Overall brand sales grew over 9% while private label product sales declined.