WARREN, NJ: Brace yourselves, there are just 43 days until the presidential election and tensions are high. Over-the-counter pain reliever Excedrin has come to the rescue with an Election Headache Kit.
The bad news is that the kit, which includes Excedrin Extra Strength, an unscented candle, a sleep mask and lavender-scented essential oil, was only sent to celebrities and politically involved people.
The good news is that bottles of Excedrin Extra Strength Election Headache Limited Edition went on sale in-store last week at CVS and online via CVS, Walgreens and Amazon.
“This year is just so crazy,” Excedrin brand director Rishi Mulgund said. “We saw the metaphorical headache being caused on both sides by this current election season, and we wanted to unite everyone in relief. We also saw an opportunity to live our motto of ‘we see your pain.’”
To promote the campaign, Excedrin sent the kits to influencers who “span both sides of the aisle,” said Mulgund. The list included actress Candace Cameron Bure, TV personality Brad Goreski, political commentator and former Republican congresswoman Mia Love, CNN anchor Jake Tapper and former White House Press Secretary Dana Perino.
Some kits, such as Tapper’s, were personalized.
“We have not put anything on our social channels yet,” said Mulgund. “We are letting the campaign start by the recipients posting whatever they want to about the kits they receive. You will see us post more on social media about this as we get closer to the start of election season, which traditionally is debate time.”
Excedrin is then planning to respond on social media to consumers who are looking for the product and amplify the campaign on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Weber Shandwick, Excedrin’s creative, digital, social and PR agency, is supporting the PR-driven campaign. Budget information was not disclosed.
Excedrin had success with a similar strategy when it inserted its brand into the 2016 presidential election via the #DebateHeadache campaign. When then-candidate Donald Trump and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton faced off in presidential debates four years ago, the brand launched the push after it saw chatter on social media about the race causing splitting headaches. Excedrin parent GSK and its agency partners won two awards for Best in Healthcare and Best in Social Media at the PRWeek Awards U.S. 2018 for the campaign.
“Excedrin has a long history of empathetic campaigns,” said Mulgund.
The brand has also helped fans of beleaguered sports teams, such as relieving the headaches of an angry New York Mets fan who missed Opening Day due to train delays and helping a Cleveland Browns fan raise money for his sarcastic “Cleveland Browns Perfect Season Parade 2.0."
This story was updated on September 21 to correct that the Headache Kit will not be available to consumers.