The family that suffers together.
Tums had dominated the market in OTC heartburn relief long enough to become a tradition. Not a choice but a habit. Pepcid, on the other hand, had just returned to the market from two years away and needed a big comeback.
JWT’s strategy was to introduce Tums users to their own stick-in-the-mud habits, blindly taking Tums in the face of a superior product. Tums relief doesn’t last. The Pepcid effect lasts longer.
To embody this stubbornness JWT invented the comical Burns family, a dysfunctional bunch with a fiery tradition of heartburn. Except for a son, Randy, who has discovered Pepcid, they believe repeated dosing is the only way to go. Randy hasn’t a chance, side with him though we may.
JWT did not have the budget to match big-spending Tums on TV, so they went non-traditional, with heavy media weight online, taking advantage of contextual holidays like Thanksgiving.
Tums users loved the Burns family and got the message. Pepcid brand favourability went up 10.6%, and sales followed, increasing by 18%.