GlaxoSmithKline Abreva Conceal – Bronze

  • Campaign: Abreva Conceal
  • Brand: GlaxoSmithKline
  • Agency: PHD

If there’s one thing people hate more than cold sores, it’s talking about cold sores. Which posed a problem for Abreva when it launched its non-medicated cold-sore patch, Conceal.

Designed to hide unsightly cold sores, Conceal was the first product of its kind, and it wasn’t especially easy to use properly: The country’s 44 million cold-sore sufferers needed to be educated about how best to apply it as well as about the product itself. Normally Abreva would have relied heavily on word-of-mouth to promote this sort of new product, especially as its budget was small, but again, who really wants to talk about cold sores?

Abreva turned to agency PHD to help it reach out to beauty bloggers to get the conversation rolling among its target audience of women 18-49 years old. It hosted a blogger summit in autumn 2012, providing content that the bloggers could use on their blogs when discussing how to use Conceal.

Once the blog content started being viewed and shared, Abreva launched the paid portion of its campaign, with content on sites popular among its target market, such as Popsugar. Only then did it air spots on cable networks.

The online content, including blog posts, generated more than 1 million views and nearly 26,000 social engagement actions. Conceal was voted Product of the Year in the skincare category among participants in the annual consumer survey. And the sales of more than $3 million exceeded the company’s target—which surely gave Abreva plenty to talk about.