Any number of sore throats

IPA Effectiveness Awards Case Study 2018

Soothers - an Australian throat lozenge brand - had lost retail distribution which could translate into a projected 31% drop in market share. To stay in business, Soothers had to regain relevance quickly and re-assert its place on retailers’ shelves. Rather than fight in the market for cold sufferers, it repositioned as a purchase for mild, everyday sore throats. A light-hearted creative approach was delivered via channels including outdoor, digital, TV, radio, and weather apps. Following this activity, awareness and active consideration grew. Share loss was minimised from the expected 31% to 14%, and value increased in key retailers. Revenue stabilised in year one and grew 20% in year two.

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This campaign has been a fantastic lesson for Nestlé and its agencies; a reminder to always keep an open mind about the future direction of a brand and its products. It’s often said brands need to occasionally refresh in order to stay modern and contemporary. However such ‘changes’ usually involve fairly superficial alterations, like fonts, logos, art direction, creative idea, etc. Sometimes it’s a little more drastic and involves a change to the brand position or strategy. In this instance, it was major strategic business decision to change the occasion we had always played in, and the target audience we had always spoken to. It was the brand evolving, but in a completely different way than you'd normally expect, which was somewhat confronting but also exciting at the same time. With the benefit of hindsight - and success - those shifts may seem obvious or matter-of-fact now, but they were extremely significant ones at the time. The lesson here is that when faced with extraordinary challenges, to think extraordinarily. SOOTHERS knew it had to change if it was going to survive, and ‘innovation’ was the obvious answer. However, innovation doesn’t always have to be product or technology led; it can simply be thinking innovatively. The innovative thinking to explore a new occasion and new target audience enabled SOOTHERS to fight on, and it will be a lesson we’ll remember moving forward: if your product isn't as relevant to your audience or occasion anymore, don’t change your product – maybe just change your audience or occasion instead!

Timothy Chung, Marketing Manager, Baking and Medicated, Nestle Australia

Winners 2018

Bronze Winner


Any number of sore throats






Ogilvy Australia

Principal Authors

  • Katharina Vassar - Ogilvy Australia
  • Ryan O'Connell - Ogilvy Australia

Contributing Authors

  • Toby Harrison - Ogilvy Australia
  • Hamish Hartley - Ogilvy Australia
  • Isabella Rago - Ogilvy Australia

Credited Companies

  • Wavemaker Australia - Media Agency

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