The world's first cough predictor

IPA Effectiveness Awards Case Study 2018

The natural children’s cough remedy, Prospan, was fighting against bigger rivals to maintain its Australian sales. Its target audience – mums – was conflicted on how to deal with kids’ coughs and prone to ‘wait and see’ before administering remedies. Using search, social and algorithms, an innovative predictor of outbreaks of colds was developed to target messages at the most opportune moments. ‘Don’t ignore a cough’ creative was distributed in print and activated digitally via programmatic in real-time to reach mums when coughs were likely to be increasing. Click-through on digital was 54% higher than a control group. Sales grew by 10% in six months despite an 8.5% decline in the category following one of the warmest winters on record. Market share rose by 18.5% in a half year.

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As marketers we’re under constant pressure to do more with less, and know more about more areas of expertise, with less time. Never has this been truer for data-driven marketing. We knew we had to approach things differently and stretch ourselves to overcome a number of challenges. We learned two valuable lessons in creating the Prospan Cough Prediction campaign: 1. Qualified Risks: In order to genuinely innovative, you need to be open to new ways of thinking, thinking that may take you out of your comfort zone. The “qualified” part is critical though. As a smaller market player we needed to know that we weren’t being frivolous with our investment and just trying something different for the sake of it. Our agency partners AFFINITY, launched themselves into understanding our brand and category from every angle – including science and data. In the end this is what enabled them to pull together a truly new approach to market. Through creating a robust test case, they were able to demonstrate that their targeting model was going to be effective with a strong level of confidence. 2. We’re Better Together: The other was opening ourselves up to true partnership and learning where our own brand expertise intersected with our trusted partners’ experience and expertise to propel us out of the ordinary. When brand owners work in collaboration with complementary partners and are actively open to solutions offered, then amazing outcomes can happen. It’s about entering the situation with a mindset that we can all look good, so we start with an aim to not judge ideas, but to collectively make something together and “raise the tide” to take everyone higher. Collaboration is the key to creativity and therefore innovation.

Michael Aylward, Group Marketing Manager
Flordis Australia

Winners 2018

Silver Winner

Best Use of Tech Led Data (The President's Prize)


The world's first cough predictor




Flordis Australia



Principal Authors

  • Luke Brown - AFFINITY
  • Angela Smith - AFFINITY

Contributing Authors

    Credited Companies

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