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Sudafed Replay Fights Sinus #FOMO, but Misses Marketing Opportunities

  |  March 10, 2014   |  Comments

The Facebook campaign, which says it gives sinus pain and congestion sufferers "a chance to press rewind on life," asks consumers to describe experiences they’ve missed out on or suffered through, but experts say the campaign misses some engagement opportunities.

Sinus product and oral decongestant Sudafed is fighting what it calls "sinus #FOMO" in its Sudafed Replay campaign by targeting sinus pain and congestion sufferers and giving them "a chance to press rewind on life."

"The football game, the concert, the must-have dinner reservation - no matter the situation, there's no denying that sinus problems keep sufferers from enjoying life's important moments," the brand says.

In a move reminiscent of Heineken's Departure Roulette campaign, the brand gave travelers at JFK a chance to win prizes and/or to change their flights for a day when they felt less pressure and congestion in an effort documented on YouTube.

As of March 7, the video has about 250 views.

In addition, the brand says sinus sufferers can enter to win a so-called Sudafed Replay to help relive their "most regrettable, missed out moments" by describing the activity they missed on or suffered through due to sinus pain and congestion on its Facebook page through April 6.

The app breaks down prizes into categories like flying, reading, and attending sporting events and says it is giving Replays to 90 people.

Participants then encounter a slot machine with prize symbols and are encouraged to pull the lever to see which category and related prize they can win.

"The app design is attractive but the game play is limited to the pull of a handle and unrelated to actually entering the promotion, making it feel disjointed," says Robin Neifield, chief executive (CEO) of NetPlus Marketing, which provides online marketing and advertising services. "Users have to manually enter all their information to participate instead of integrating the Facebook allow features designed to streamline that very kind of form completion. This creates an unnecessary barrier to entry."

In addition, Neifield notes the language and range of prizes is broad, which does nothing to qualify the audience as sinus sufferers.

"This kind of broad approach often results in a flood of contest queens who then unlike the page after the promotion and depress the audience engagement in the community," she says. "The brand incorporated a sharing option into the contest but missed an opportunity to incentivize users to share with additional promotion entries or even coupons, which would have been a better integration than the unrelated coupon offer at the end of the experience. Sharing mechanisms are an incredibly effective way to gain earned impressions and extend the value of the investment."

There is also a chance to win $25 gift cards on Sudafed's timeline via what the brand calls "Rapid Replays." To enter, fans must comment about what they missed out on when they see dedicated "Rapid Replay" posts. Ten winners will be chosen from each post.

"Facebook has some stringent rules about that kind of activity but it is a highly effective way to get users buzzing about your brand and generating earned media," Neifield says.

According to Jasmine Sandler, CEO of Agent-cy Online Marketing, another way to build more buzz could be to do additional promotion on LinkedIn and Google+, which have great business travel communities, or on Twitter, where the brand could capitalize on #FOMO itself. Sandler also says the brand could look to do co-marketing with airlines and business travel groups online.

Sudafed has 147,000 likes.

Sudafed says it is the number one pharmacist-recommended brand for sinus products and oral decongestants. It is a McNeil Consumer Healthcare brand.

A Sudafed rep was not available for comment.


Lisa Lacy

In addition to ClickZ and Search Engine Watch, Lisa's work has appeared in The Huffington Post, The Luxury Spot, LearnVest, MarthaStewart.com, GoodHousekeeping.com, amNewYork, and The Wall Street Journal. She's a graduate of Columbia's School of Journalism.

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