Abreva gets a brand boost with 'Kiss it Forward' effort

With Valentine's Day around the corner, cold sore medication brand Abreva wanted to raise awareness about the product's ability to make lips kissable for the big holiday.

With Valentine's Day around the corner, cold sore medication brand Abreva wanted to raise awareness about the product's ability to make lips kissable for the big holiday.

"There's a lot of stigma surrounding cold sores," says Jennifer May, communications manager at GlaxoSmithKline consumer healthcare. "This [campaign] was a great way to educate cold sore sufferers about what causes cold sores and what are the treatment options."

Abreva worked with GolinHarris to get the media's attention and build buzz around the campaign.

Strategy
This year's effort was the first to span across different media for Abreva, with its Web site being a crucial component for the campaign's success.

This was also the first time that Abreva partnered with a nonprofit organization. It selected Operation Smile, a global organization that corrects childhood facial deformities.

"Some of our messaging was to help sufferers be... confident," May says. "Operation Smile is about making children more confident. Our mission[s]... were tied."

Tactics
Abreva and Golin utilized the results of a survey conducted in December 2007 on consumer kissing habits and an expert spokesperson in a radio media tour and media outreach. Audiences were also told about the relationship with Operation Smile and encouraged to donate.

Visitors to Abreva.com could not only learn about the product, but participate in the "Kiss It Forward" campaign by sending a kiss to a friend or loved one, with $1 per kiss sent to Operation Smile.

Results
Web site traffic increased with 10,000 additional visitors for the month compared to February 2007. More than 500 stories appeared in local and national outlets, such as WCBS-TV in New York and The Miami Herald. Sales increased during the week of Valentine's Day, and the effort raised $10,000 for Operation Smile.

Future
Abreva is looking into a similar push for next year.

PR team: GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare for Abreva (Pittsburgh) and GolinHarris (New York)

Campaign: "Kiss it Forward" Valentine's Day program

Duration: February 2008

Budget: $115,000

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