Emergen-C had been growing, but was beginning to flounder as the Sales and Marketing teams struggled to find direction.  The CEO brought us in to help assess and manage the existing teams, evaluate the business plans, and plot a path forward to return the brand to strong growth.  After several months and further discussions, we agreed to turn our initial temporary assignment into a full time permanent one.  We stayed with the company as it returned to growth, focused resources on demonstrable strategies and tactics, and played a key role in the sale process.  We stayed on to transition the brand and departments for the first six months post-acquisition by Pfizer.

After a couple of years of running the same upbeat advertising, the brand wanted to understand if new advertising could help increase the growth rate and fuel everyday usage.

We undertook extensive research into how consumers interacted with the brand, when, where and why.  We identified a key barrier for those who were not using the brand at all or very often – the name.  Of course, we were not going to change the brand name, but what could we do?  We brought various ideas before them trying to determine if one could move the needle.  However, none were working.

It was then that we asked the agency to embrace the name and try a new approach.  We can’t tell you what the exact idea was, but consumers embraced it and the result was “My Emergen-C.” This campaign idea was then rolled across the entire marketing platform including digital and social media.  As a result, we received thousands of stories from our consumers – some of which made it into future ads.

The “My Emergen-C” Television and Print [...]

By |November 5th, 2013||0 Comments|


Pantene was on a tear.  Its new positioning emphasizing its Pro-V(itamin) content in conjunction with a formula, packaging, and price change had catapulted the brand to the #1 position in Shampoos and Conditioners.  Unfortunately, P&G had not yet cracked the code in the styling segment of the market.  We had the assignment to figure out how to bring Pantene Pro-V Styling Aids to market.  From soup to nuts, we were asked to design, price and advertise the line.

Pantene needed to understand what consumers were looking for from their styling products.  The positioning also needed to be consistent with that which had helped the brand become #1 in Shampoos and Conditioners.  Finally, an added requirement was to ensure that P&G Canada and Mexico would be able to use our formulas and packaging sizes.

We first took a look at styling advertising from around the world to try and understand visually what seemed to be consistent, what was working, and what didn’t seem to fit.  We conducted research with our target consumers to see what they were seeking in styling that would fit with our “healthy” image.  Key findings were that hair needed to look like it was not weighed down; it needed to look touchable, certain ingredients were less desirable, and shine was a key indicator of healthy, styled hair.  It also became clear that consumers were looking for help in optimizing their use of these products.

We developed a complete line of products that would help consumers achieve the lift and hold that they wanted while still having healthy hair.  The pumps, nozzles, and mist inserts were optimized to ensure that the products would not coat, but would leave the hair feeling and looking touchable.  Ingredients [...]

By |November 5th, 2013||0 Comments|


Ester-C was successfully following the “Intel inside” model in the vitamin C category.  We ran television and radio advertising that helped make Ester-C the #1 branded vitamin C in the supplement market.  The parent company asked us to find new growth opportunities in order to facilitate their desire to accelerate the funding of the company’s oral cancer detection clinical trials.

Our Ester-C Commercials
Ester-C “Nature Made” Radio Spot


Ester-C “More From My C” Radio Spot

Ester-C Firehouse Commercial

Ester-C was the #1 branded vitamin C in the supplement market with a presence in almost every major brand (e.g. Nature’s Bounty, Nature Made, Natrol), as well as most Private Label/Store brands.  Organic growth was slowing and the company was looking for additional revenue sources from this key brand.

Research showed that consumers perceived most multivitamins as largely undifferentiated from each other.  Our concept testing showed that adding Ester-C to multivitamins provided an added edge for the multivitamin brand.  By adding Ester-C, these multivitamin brands could increase the consumers’ view that this multi was significantly different from other products on the market, and approximately doubled their preference for this new multivitamin.[/title]

We mocked up packages of these products and presented them along with our research results to customers and retailers.  After presenting to the #1 retailer in the world, they requested their Private Label manufacturer reformulate their product to include Ester-C.  They rolled out the product with new packaging and PDQs, and we supported it with dedicated radio advertising.

Despite Ester-C being the #1 branded vitamin C in the supplement market and one of the most profitable due to its premium positioning, Zila Nutraceuticals was virtually unknown as the manufacturer of the brand.  Additionally, retailers did not know that Zila was responsible for [...]

By |November 5th, 2013||0 Comments|


Invisalign held the promise of being the most radical change in orthodontic treatment in decades, if it worked.  It promised to dramatically increase new patient inflow as well as improve patient satisfaction.  However, orthodontists has been ‘burned’ by seemingly game-changing technologies in the past.  So, why should they trust a technology that was invented by a 25-year old Stanford business student without any dental background?  We were hired to convince doctors and patients that this, then as yet unnamed, product would change their lives.

The previous, “game changing” advance in orthodontics (Straight Wire) had taken over a decade for orthodontists to adopt and still wasn’t fully implemented.  Align Technology (makers of Invisalign) was an unknown, new to the market company.  Additionally, many doctors were a little wary of it due to its being located in the heart of Silicon Valley and having Venture Capital backing.  Without a significant change in behavior, Align would run out of money long before orthodontists adopted the technology at rates sufficient to keep the company afloat.

Orthodontics was one of the last medical fields to be void of DTC advertising.  After all, Dr. Miller treated you and you really didn’t know what brand of braces he was using.  We realized that the only way we could bend the adoption curve was to drive potential patients into offices asking for our product by name.   This had some risk as orthodontists were not used to patients doing this.  However, we felt these could be mitigated by effective communication and recruitment.

The first part of the solution was to train as many doctors as possible in the use of Invisalign.  This required the groundbreaking use of satellite transmission to training sites around the country.  One [...]

By |November 5th, 2013||0 Comments|


Rogaine was the #1 brand in the company’s Consumer Healthcare portfolio.  As such, it had heavy expectations to deliver sales and EBITDA objectives.  The company was counting on our successfully addressing any consumer barriers that might negatively impact sales, and delivering on our numbers in order to allow the company to try and grow other brands in the portfolio.

Men were intrigued by the Rogaine proposition and were trying out the brand, but repeat volume trends showed we were not hanging on to them. For many, they felt that it simply wasn’t working for them. At this point, the product was widely available in a 1-month supply.

Analysis of A&U studies showed that a large percentage of men stopped using Rogaine after just one month – even though it typically took at least 3 months (with Regular Strength Rogaine) for results to be seen. Further research also showed that many men were using the product incorrectly – they were applying it to their hair rather than to their scalp and only using it once a day.

We created the Rogaine Extra Strength Starter Kit. As results were seen as soon as 2 months with Extra Strength, the Starter Kit featured a 2-month supply of Rogaine so men could start to see results BEFORE they had to purchase another bottle. It also featured a 15-minute video hosted by Super Bowl winning coach Mike Holmgren of the Green Bay Packers. In this video, Mike coached men on the keys to success – using it twice a day, everyday and making sure Rogaine was applied to the scalp. To encourage men to watch, we also included a sweepstakes for autographed footballs from Coach Holmgren.

Watch the Consumer Video


The media had hyped [...]

By |November 5th, 2013||0 Comments|

Opal Orthodontics

Ultradent, the parent of Opal Orthodontics, had a strong reputation with the general practice dentist, but was unknown in the orthodontic community.  They wanted to leverage their products and experience into this lucrative market.  We were hired to help them understand how they could best sell their products and services into this market.


Opal Orthodontics was attempting to become a major player in an already crowded marketplace.  Many of the established companies had been there for decades and had proprietary technologies, which helped differentiate them from each other.  At launch, Opal would not have the benefit of a unique bracket/wire offering.  The challenge, therefore, was how to make them stand out.


We recruited and brought in leading clinicians to an upscale ski resort for several days of meetings and fun.  Together, we mapped out the existing companies in the market, their strengths, weaknesses and opportunities.  We uncovered white spaces in the market and a nearly universal practice that doctors found confusing – tiered pricing with complicated discount programs that appeared to vary from doctor to doctor.  These left doctors feeling that they weren’t necessarily getting the best deal and that these companies, at best, were not transparent, and at worst were not honest.


We recommended that Opal Orthodontics go against market practices and adopt a transparent pricing strategy with a single price point.  As this was a daring move to make and would make them stand out, we also recommended that they build their company positioning around this key insight that would make them stand out from the rest of the market.  This was manifest in our selection of bright, bold colors, graphical images, tag line (“Daring to be Different”), and our “One Price. No Games.” manifesto.

Ultradent [...]

By |November 5th, 2013||0 Comments|


The Kaopectate brand had a solid family equity and an especially strong children’s franchise, but it had only been able to launch close-in line extensions in the anti-diarrheal category.  The company charged us with trying to find the way to leverage this well-known brand into other related healthcare categories.

Maintaining electrolyte balance during diarrhea can be a critical factor, especially among young children.  Electrolyte Replacement seemed like a logical market for the brand, but Pedialyte was the #1 pediatric electrolyte replenisher in the market with a very dominant market share.

Parents had a difficult time getting children to drink Pedialyte, as it had a poor taste.  Additionally, the product was only sold in 1 litre bottles which expired 48 hours after opening; thus, most parents dumped several dollars down the drain each time they bought the product.  And, when they needed it the next time (for diarrhea or vomiting), it often meant a late night trip to the drug store.  They were open to a more convenient, cost effective, and better tasting alternative.

We developed a convenient powdered formula that was mixed one cup at a time, thus allowing parents to always keep it on hand and only mix up what they needed for each episode.  As it was a powder, we were able to use aspartame to sweeten the taste and mask the inherent saltiness of electrolytes.  In blind taste tests, Kao-lectrolyte was overwhelmingly preferred 3 to 1 vs. Pedialyte.

Retailers had to be convinced that they needed to add a new product to the shelf, especially from a #2 to #3 market share brand.  Pediatricians, the key gatekeepers, also had to be convinced to recommend a new product to parents over the entrenched #1 brand (and [...]

By |November 5th, 2013||0 Comments|


The category was fairly stagnant and the brand had been under pressure from non-drowsy formulations.  In a Monograph environment, claims are set by the FDA, which makes it difficult to differentiate on that basis.  We were tasked with trying to uncover new means of growing the business within a flat marketing spend.

Only about half of consumers who experience motion sickness actually treat the symptoms or take a product prophylactically.


We delved into existing research studies and uncovered a previously unrecognized gem: the #1 reason people did not take a product to prevent motion sickness or to treat it at the onset of symptoms was they did not have it on hand.


We repackaged Dramamine into small, travel size tubes.  By removing it from blister packs and large cardboard boxes, we were able to facilitate consumers keeping it on hand.  Radio advertising for the brand also touted the change and encouraged people to keep a pack in their purse and glove box, so they would always be ready.


Listen to the Dramamine Radio Spots


The Dramamine brand had been line extended with Chewables and Dramamine II (to better compete with Bonine).  However, consumers and retailers were confused about the differences between the products and when they should be used or even why they should stock all three.


Tracking research showed consumers wanted to know which product was most appropriate for their situation and were seeking a simple solution that was easy to understand.


All of the products were brought back under the Dramamine brand name and positioned by formula type:  Original, Less Drowsy, and Children’s Chewable.  An orange band was added to the front of the packaging to help further explain the differences between the products (e.g. Fast Acting vs. 24-Hour [...]

By |November 5th, 2013||0 Comments|

Other Clients & Brands

What if you had a great software program but didn’t know very much about your target audience? This was the very issue facing the developers of a real-time web-based transaction engine. Functionally, the software performed excellently. But sales were extremely disappointing due to a lack of knowledge of the industry it supported as well as a lack of insight on how to penetrate a market dominated by two larger players. We worked with Accesspoint in developing a reseller program that allowed companies already in the market, and with industry contacts, to be their sales force for them. Pricing models were adjusted to reflect the marketplace and to allow resellers enough incentive to include Accesspoint in their mix. We then created a classroom and field training program for the resellers along with a “train the trainer program” so that they could in turn train their own salespeople as the reseller channel grew.

When your branches are responsible to generate non-core business in multiple areas (mortgage, merchant services, brokerage services, etc.) without actually having the ability to directly sell those services to the customer, the results can be less than satisfactory. We worked with branch personnel on identifying and prospecting for potential new merchant services business within their existing customer base. We strategized with branch managers on generating more business for the branch without taxing the already busy schedules of in-house personnel. One-on-one training sessions were performed with assistant managers, personal bankers and tellers that included tying in performance and bonus plans with merchant services prospecting activities. Personnel were given timely updates via Salesforce.com as well as given communication cascading down through the branch managers regarding all sales calls, regardless of the final result. Additionally, sales [...]

By |November 5th, 2013||0 Comments|

Emergen-C Print

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Etiam dictum commodo lorem eget venenatis. Sed quis massa ac lectus feugiat hendrerit ut non sem. Maecenas at tempor orci, vitae iaculis felis. Praesent id velit tincidunt, suscipit diam vel, lobortis quam. Nam id ipsum a ipsum consequat fringilla id id purus. Aenean ullamcorper quis arcu non vestibulum. In velit purus, egestas eget elit a, molestie dignissim felis. Aliquam vitae leo vel nunc fringilla pretium. Aenean purus orci, egestas non tincidunt vel, laoreet molestie massa. Mauris pellentesque magna molestie ante pharetra imperdiet. Quisque pulvinar justo orci, nec luctus magna luctus commodo. Maecenas adipiscing quam eget massa consectetur, ut mattis purus congue. Sed eget sollicitudin risus, sit amet faucibus augue. Sed scelerisque neque non aliquam placerat. Curabitur bibendum ipsum eget viverra placerat. Proin a ipsum sit amet augue vestibulum ornare.
Sed eget condimentum magna. Ut sit amet felis quis urna laoreet tincidunt. Praesent gravida euismod felis eu pellentesque. Nulla facilisi. Sed vulputate in felis ac commodo. Phasellus non odio mi. Sed sit amet suscipit felis. Donec tincidunt, dolor non lobortis feugiat, metus diam pharetra diam, id convallis ipsum mi ac nulla. Fusce vel diam id diam semper tempor. Vestibulum nisi dui, rhoncus nec nibh sit amet, rhoncus placerat est. Suspendisse orci justo, gravida a nulla quis, dignissim sollicitudin est. Mauris vulputate, quam a porttitor auctor, nibh turpis rutrum orci, quis varius dui orci nec lectus.
Integer nec tellus metus. Aliquam nisi augue, egestas ac mattis ac, ultrices et lacus. Sed ac enim vitae libero elementum pharetra. Aliquam erat volutpat. Aliquam nec magna convallis, sodales est a, convallis arcu. Vestibulum pellentesque iaculis nunc ac lobortis. Vivamus volutpat tellus quis tortor pellentesque malesuada. Mauris vel justo fermentum quam ultricies [...]

By |November 4th, 2013||0 Comments|