PM360 Trailblazer Awards Marketing Teams of the Year 2017

This year PM360 awarded a Gold and Silver winner in our Marketing Team category, which was established just last year to recognize teams that reach across various functions to achieve exceptional results. That absolutely describes our Gold Winner, the Zicam® Marketing Team from Matrixx Initiatives, which used a slew of partners (including Protagonist, Simulmedia, Mediahead, Kwittken, TradeX Partners, Crowdtap) to do some truly innovative things around one of the world’s most well-known diseases—the common cold. As well as our Silver Winner, the DEFITELIO Marketing Team from Jazz Pharmaceuticals and its agency partner Dudnyk, which was responsible for marketing the first and only approved treatment for veno-occlusive disease.

Gold Winner: Zicam® Marketing Team

Zicam® Marketing Team

Matrixx Initiatives

Agency Partners: Protagonist, Simulmedia, Mediahead, Kwittken, TradeX Partners, Crowdtap

Zicam brand and agency team members.

While most marketing teams are typically faced with either growing aggressively from a strong base or turning around a struggling brand, the Zicam integrated agency team (IAT) was faced with creating success on a very slim marketing budget that had declined 34% over the last three years. Additionally, Zicam competes in the very crowded OTC Cold/Cough/Allergy/Sinus category dominated by mega brands such as Vicks, Mucinex, and Alka-Seltzer. If that wasn’t enough pressure, if Zicam doesn’t grow, the company doesn’t grow. As a one-brand company, there is not a portfolio to leverage, which can impact everything from media buying to logistics costs to internal functional talent specialists.

So, the weight of the company was on the shoulders of Zicam’s 19 full-time employees—with only four in the marketing department—and the several agency partners they utilize to deliver best-in-class strategies.

Changing the Measurement of TV Success

The first step the IAT took was getting the word out about both Zicam’s oral forms and nasal forms. Even this was a challenge since the company’s executives wanted to focus on growing the nasal forms, which were introduced two years ago, as they believed that was the surest way to grow total market penetration. However, considering oral forms represented 76% of the cold remedy portfolio, the IAT knew it needed to support both forms for the greatest success.

Based on a segmentation and MRI study, TV was the most efficient vehicle to broadly reach Zicam’s target consumers during the brief 12 weeks the brand could afford to be on air. So, 90% of the brand’s marketing budget was directed into TV, with the IAT shifting support between the campaigns for the oral forms and nasal forms over that time. But, here is where things get interesting. Media partner Simulmedia developed a product offering that linked TV set top box viewing data to shopper card data in a privacy compliant manner. This enabled a formal link between ad exposure and product purchase, and allowed the IAT to show executives not only how the oral ad performed versus the nasal ad, but also essentially prove that TV works to drive profitable growth.

Zicam’s TV spot asked consumers, “Cold Calling? Answer it, with Zicam.”

An App for Cold Detection

Meanwhile, to help further raise brand awareness during the critical cold season, the IAT developed ColdSense, the first ever iPhone app designed to help evaluate a user’s potential exposure to the common cold. ColdSense uniquely utilizes smartphone sensors to actively listen for coughs and sneezes around a user to determine potential risk of exposure and combines this with multiple other indicators to create a constantly updating personalized risk profile. ColdSense also records and playfully analyzes user’s personal cough and sneeze styles (e.g., you are a “shout cougher”) to be shared with friends via social channels. The app coverage alone secured 255 media placements and generated more than 135 MM impressions.

The Zicam ColdSense App lets consumers have a little fun during the cold season with a cough and sneeze analyzer and so much more.

Exceptional Results

The totality of the activation program—which also included a larger than life Cold Monster® handing out product samples at Chicago O’Hare International Airport, a highly personalized Facebook advertising campaign with five segmentation targets, and a branded integration with The Weather Channel—resulted in 878 MM impressions with 98% positive sentiment. The prior year’s program delivered just 170 MM impressions, so the team achieved its objective of raising the awareness of Zicam.

It also succeeded from a sales perspective. From April 2016 to May 2017, the brand’s oral cold remedy unit consumption was up 9.5% versus the previous year while nasal was up 43%. Additionally, total brand retail revenue grew 11% to $108 MM—without a significant product launch. These results are tremendous based on any measure and reflect the significant contributions of the IAT to the Zicam business.

Team Members:

Zicam Team Members:
Lori Norian, VP Marketing
Jaime Jarer, Sr. Brand Manager
Ginny Barsi, Digital and Social Manager
Tanner Puckett, Brand Manager

Mediahead Team Members:                                         
Jim Geoghegan, Principal

Protagonist Team Members:
Tom Cotton, Partner
Jordan Rednor, Partner
Dan Fleishaker, Account Supervisor
Emily Burke, Account Executive
Matthew Greenberg, Social Content Manager
Alicia Azeltine, Community Manager
Wyndham Stopford, Creative Director
Thomas Bloch, Senior Art Director

Kwittken Team Members:
Shanee Goss, Executive Managing Director
Rita Covey, Senior Account Director
Samantha Evans, Senior Account Supervisor
Lauren Wright, Senior Account Executive

Crowdtap Team Members:
Lauren Fox, Senior Program Manager

TradeX Partners Team Members:
Frances Croke Page, VP, Media Director
Devon Stieglitz, Associate Director

Simulmedia Team Members:
Marc Siegel, VP Sales and Strategic Accounts
Mallory Staub, Account Director

Silver Winner: DEFITELIO Marketing Team

DEFITELIO Marketing Team

Jazz Pharmaceuticals

Agency Partner: Dudnyk

Left to right: Dave Santos, Matt Rossen, Beth Hamilton, Kathy Del Pino, Matt Hutchings, and June Gobern.

At Jazz Pharmaceuticals they have a saying, “It’s not a job, it’s a cause.” A cause to do better by patients. Take, for instance, veno-occlusive disease (VOD)—also known as sinusoidal obstructive syndrome (SOS)—with renal or pulmonary dysfunction. This is a rare complication that can occur after hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation (HSCT) and has the potential to turn deadly.

Up until recently, VOD had no approved treatment, leaving physicians somewhat powerless, with supportive care as the only disease management option. That was until Jazz Pharmaceuticals’ DEFITELIO® (defibrotide sodium) was approved as the first and only treatment for VOD with renal or pulmonary dysfunction post HSCT. DEFITELIO’s standing as the only FDA-approved treatment in the space made the marketing team’s task of disease awareness and education that much more important. Considering the fact that VOD can rapidly progress, the team needed to quickly raise awareness of this deadly complication and the only approved treatment option to give post-HSCT patients a better chance at survival.

This campaign established VOD as a potentially deadly complication post-HSCT that can rapidly progress.

Where’s There’s Smoke, There’s Fire

The marketing team’s initial goal was to illustrate the life-threatening potential of VOD and its indicators. To do so, they developed a brand story that drove the urgent need to proactively look for signs of VOD post HSCT and initiate DEFITELIO at the first signs of renal or pulmonary dysfunction. Segmentation and messaging research helped the team identify three key points for a new DEFITELIO campaign: 1) show the momentum of VOD progression, 2) create a sense of urgency to treat, and 3) present defibrotide sodium as the only approved treatment.

The creative execution of this campaign revolved around a familiar phrase: “Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.” By linking this recognizable expression to a rare disease like VOD, it made an uncommon complication relatable and alarming in one stark image. The team created the concept of a house fire with the symptoms written in smoke and “VOD” written in flames and the DEFITELIO fire extinguisher as the potential solution. The new campaign called for updated messaging and enhanced execution. By revamping the DEFITELIO sales aid, website, and adverts, the marketing team initiated a new conversation with its audience. Thanks to the team’s solid strategic insights, the creative and tactical executions produced an intricate story with strong stopping power.

This journal ad helped to drive the urgency to identify VOD with renal or pulmonary dysfunction burning inside, and the possibility to extinguish with DEFITELIO.

Giving VOD Patients a Better Chance

Hematologist-oncologists who perform HSCT, advanced practice nurses (APNs), and pharmacists have all responded strongly to the updated brand story, clearly recognizing that the house represented the patient, the urgency to identify VOD with renal or pulmonary dysfunction burning inside, and the possibility to extinguish with DEFITELIO. The brand team has received positive feedback from field reps on the audience’s reception to the messaging and on-target conversations. But ultimately, by facilitating a better conversation with decision makers, Jazz Pharmaceuticals is helping to improve the chances of survival for patients suffering from VOD with renal or pulmonary dysfunction and thus, fulfilling the company’s goal to do better by patients.

Team Members:

Jazz Team Members:
Dave Santos, Vice President, Hematology/Oncology Business Unit
Matt Rossen, Senior Director, Hematology/Oncology Marketing
Beth Hamilton, Associate Director, Hematology/Oncology Marketing
Kathy DelPino, Associate Director, Market Intelligence
Matt Hutchings, Senior Manager, Key Customer Marketing
June Gobern, Director, Thought Leader Liaisons


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