The launch of oral nicotine replacement therapy the NiQuitin CQ Lozenge for GlaxoSmithKline had to overcome media fatigue arising from the prevalence of existing nicotine replacement therapies, and to overcome negative attitudes towards an oral nicotine replacement product.
Munro & Forster adopted a four-pronged strategy: using experts and independent bodies to lend credibility to the campaign; promoting the results of clinical trials; creating news angles focusing on individuals and the benefit to public health, and using the testimonials of people who had given up smoking through using the lozenge.
Two product launches took place - the first for the healthcare and pharmacy press, and included debate on the benefits of a multi-disciplinary approach to giving up smoking. Tailored efforts were made to communicate with doctors, nurses and the pharmacy press.
The second launch at the end of October 2001 took place at the HQ of Cancer Research UK, and promoted the message that the lozenges triple the chance of a smoker successfully giving up. Press releases were issued on Cancer Research UK-headed paper, and the association with the charity helped to add weight to the launch. Coverage in seven national newspapers, ten consumer magazines and over 15 minutes of TV airtime was achieved.
Evaluation revealed that the PR launch alone achieved 29 per cent brand awareness among consumers, with 99 per cent of media coverage containing at least one key message. The lozenge took an 11 per cent share in the UK nicotine replacement market in the first week, and achieved its three months sales target in under six weeks.
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