Voltaren Promo, Case study VOLTEXERCISE! by Ogilvy & Mather Moscow

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Industry Health & Pharmaceutical Products, OTC Medicines (Pain Relievers, Cold & Flu)
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market Russia
Agency Ogilvy & Mather Moscow
Designer Roman Tikhonov
Released March 2012

Credits & Description

Category: Celebrity Endorsement
Product/Service: PAIN RELIEF GEL
Chief Executive Officer: Andrey Barannikov (Spn Ogilvy)
Director Of St. Petersburg Office: Tatiana Merkulova (Spn Ogilvy)
Account Director/Strategic Communications: Julia Andreeva (Spn Ogilvy)
Business Development Director: Elena Erokhina (Spn Ogilvy)
Marketing Coordinator: Elena Mazaeva (Novartis Consumer Health)
Marketing Director: Alexander Pakhutko (Novartis Consumer Health)
Category Manager: Maria Sigal (Novartis Consumer Health)
Brand Manager: Olga Deryugina (Novartis Consumer Health)
Senior Account Manager: Daria Suraeva (Saatchi & Saatchi Russia)
Media Planner: Marina Torkanovskaya (MEC)
Head Of Design Studio: Viktoria Evdokimova (SPN Ogilvy)
Senior Event Producer: Julia Mirochnik (SPN Ogilvy)
Monitoring/Research Specialist: Ekaterina Malysheva (SPN Ogilvy)
Senior Designer: Vladimir Osokin (SPN Ogilvy)
Senior Designer: Grigoriy Gladarev (SPN Ogilvy)
Designer: Roman Tikhonov (SPN Ogilvy)
Media placement: Celebrity Endorsement - S.Pugacheva, Fitness Champion - Author Of VoltExercises; A.Yagudin, Olympic Champion - Campaign Face - 01 April 2011 - 30 March 2012
Media placement: Media Partnerships - 2 Nationwide Female Lifestyle Magazines (Liza, Otdokhni) And 11 Regional Leisure & Health Magazines - 01 April 2011 - 31 Jan 2012
Media placement: Media Relations (Distributing Press Releases, Organizing Interviews, Handling Media Requests, Etc.) - Pool Of 200 Nationwide And Regional Periodicals (General Interest, Beauty, Health, Leisure, Sports) - 01 April 2011 - 31 Jan 2012
Media placement: Announcing Advertisement - Outdoor, POS Materials In Pharmacies - 7 Cities; Print, Radio, Internet - 7 Cities And Nationwide - 25/04-30/06; 01/11-18/12/2011
Media placement: Animated Online Gallery With The VoltExercise Program - Voltaren Website (Http://www.voltaren.ru/morning-Exercices) - Since 01 May 2011
Media placement: On-Site Engagement (Fun Marches Of Volunteers With Banners; Zorb Rider; Hand-Out Materials) - 7 Cities, A Week Before, A Day Before And On The Day Of Each VoltExercise Event - 07 May - 25 June 2011
Media placement: Press Conference; Press Briefings - Press Conference - Moscow; Briefings - 6 Other Cities Prior To Each Event - 13 May 2011; 14 May - 28 June
Media placement: Live Open-Air Events (7 Summer Public Events, 2 Events For Medical Practitioners, 1 Winter Session) - 7 Largest Cities: Moscow, St Petersburg, Rostov-Na-Donu, Yekaterinburg, Samara, Kazan, Novosibirsk - 14/05 - 28/06 And 18/12/2011
Media placement: Radio Quiz Promoting Winter VoltExercise Session In Moscow - Europa Plus Radio Station (Moscow) - 7-23 December 2011
Media placement: Integration In A Morning TV Show (Yagudin Featured As Guest Morning Exercise Instructor) - “Good Morning!” Show On NTV (Hosted By Laysan Utyasheva, World Champion In Gymnastics) - 19 -23/12/2011; 02 -06/01/2012

Summary of the Campaign
'VoltExercise!' is the story of how a brand encouraged an entire country to do physical exercises by smartly integrating a forgotten tradition into the current news agenda, finding an engaging PR format and supporting it with comprehensive communications.

Voltaren pain relief gel needed to increase sales and distinguish itself in a competitive Russian market. Encouraged by USSR mass sports traditions and upcoming international sporting events in Russia, we launched VoltExercise, the largest public exercise session since Soviet times: 10 open-air events in the 7 biggest Russian cities. A fitness world champion was recruited to design exercises preventing joint pain, and the live events were hosted by the coolest instructor - Olympic figure skating champion and TV star Alexey Yagudin. To support VoltExercise events, we worked with a pool of 200 journalists, secured 13 media partners, organized press events in each city, incorporated advertising and enabled on-site engagement.

As a result, Voltaren sales increased 36% nationwide (vs 2010) and it moved from 3rd to 1st place by market share in units (June 2011). Media coverage over 2011 outpaced the closest rival more than 5-fold; no competitor had such powerful newsbreaks. The campaign earned 475 media hits, of which 75% directly mention the VoltExercise or Voltaren brand. Previously featured mainly in medical and health periodicals, Voltaren increased share of coverage in news media 3-fold, in lifestyle media - almost 2-fold. VoltExercise events drew over 5,500 attendees and provoked a wave of requests from local communities to organize similar happenings in their cities.

The Situation
Voltaren Emulgel is an anti-inflammatory for muscles and joints. Seeking to increase sales in a competitive Russian market, the brand needed to stand out. Before 2011, Voltaren did not differ from competitors; all of them promoted via similar channels: advertising and POSM. Voltaren's media coverage was low and narrow: it was featured mainly in health sections and medical periodicals, usually listed among competitors. Any brand initiative enjoyed little interest in the Russian media, unless paid for. Legislative restrictions on pharmaceutical promotions complicated the situation.

This all challenged Voltaren to come up with a powerful newsbreak and a new PR format.

The Goal

-Go beyond OTC category conventions and become a loved brand;
-Increase sales and market share;
-Increase earned media coverage;
-Expand coverage from health to news and lifestyle media.

-Consumers - mostly women 30-45.
-Medical practitioners - difficult to reach due to legislation.
-Journalists - sceptical to brand initiatives.

Media analysis identified stable, much-discussed topics relevant to Voltaren and consumers:
-Sports buzz provoked by forthcoming sporting events in Russia (Sochi 2014 Olympics, etc.)
-Healthy lifestyle promoted by the government.
These were backed by strong sports traditions in the USSR (our audiences’ past), where sports had been part of life: the entire country exercised.

The Strategy
We launched VoltExercise, a nationwide initiative reintroducing exercise into daily life ('VoltZaryadka' in Russian: 'zaryadka' means both 'physical exercises' and 'charging'; 'Volt' refers both to the brand and electric power). It fit into the current agenda, appealed to the familiar traditions, had a socially important mission and created positive associations with the brand: Voltaren allows you to fully use your energy potential and live an active life.

Svetlana Pugacheva, world champion in fitness, was recruited to design a special exercise program to strengthen muscles and prevent joint pain (supporting Voltaren’s benefit of pain relief). We got it approved by the National Health League. Then we launched the biggest public exercise session since Soviet times: open-air events in Russia’s 7 largest cities. And we chose the coolest host instructor: figure skater, Alexey Yagudin, world and Olympic champion and a TV star, handsome, charismatic and loved by media and consumers.

Timeframe: April 2011-January 2012.


-Announcing advertising: outdoor, print and radio; educational POSM (leaflets with VoltExercises).

-Creating a target pool of 200 journalists.

-Media partnership with 2 national and 11 regional lifestyle and health outlets.

-Launch press conference (May 13th, Moscow).

-Onsite engagement campaign a week before, the day before and on the day of each event: volunteers marching with banners, distributing invitations and souvenirs; a zorb rolling around the venues to attract participants.

-Open-air exercise sesions in 7 cities - Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Rostov-na-Donu, Yekaterinburg, Samara, Kazan, Novosibirsk (May 14th - June 26th and December 18th):
-Held in the most popular public places.
-Program: intro by cheerleaders; warm-up with fitness instructors; VoltExercise with Yagudin.
-Press briefings before each event.
-2 special VoltExercise sessions organized for medical practitioners.
-Winter VoltExercise and skating workshop by Yagudin held in Moscow on the Red Square. Famous designer recruited to create winter VoltExercise uniform.

Documented Results
-Sales grew 36% nationwide (May-August 2011 versus 2010).

-Voltaren moved from 3rd to 1st place by market share in units (June 2011).

-Purchase intent of consumers exposed to the campaign reaches 64% (versus 44% of those unexposed); spontaneous brand awareness reaches 48% (versus 30%); 44% ready to recommend it to friends (versus 30%).

-Events drew over 5,500 attendees.

-Media coverage outpaced closest competitor more than 5-fold (January 2011- January 2012). No competitor had such powerful newsbreaks.

-VoltExercise earned 475 unique media hits (April 2011- January 2012); 75% directly mention VoltExercise/Voltaren. ZERO advertorials, which is nearly impossible for a brand initiative.

-Share of brand’s coverage in the news media increased from 17% to 62%; in lifestyle from 17% to 29%.

-Media outreach 95,800,108 impressions.

-The team was approached by 10 local NGOs asking to organize similar events in their cities. Thus, VoltExercise is growing into a nationwide movement for physical exercises.