Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO is launching a pounds 1.5 million
television campaign for an Alka-Seltzer hangover remedy aimed at younger
consumers in a bid to revitalise the brand.
Alka-Seltzer XS will attract almost the entire budget allocated to the
brand by its Bayer parent for TV and poster advertising covering the
traditional season of over-indulgence between Christmas and the new
Alka-Seltzer Original will receive no TV support over the festive season
in order to give the new product a clear run at establishing itself
against its rival, SmithKline Beecham’s Resolve.
The star of the humorous 20-second commercial is a worm who is the worse
for wear at the bottom of a bottle of tequila. Spotting a fizzing glass
of XS, he crawls up the bottle, forces out the cork and dives into the
XS, smiling with relief.
The ad carries the line: ’Alka-Seltzer XS. When you’ve had one too
many.’ Media buying is through Universal McCann.
The film marks the UK commercials debut of Paul Berry, who animated the
movie based on Roald Dahl’s classic children’s book, James and the Giant
It is also the agency swansong for Pat Doherty, the senior copywriter
who is shortly to join Bartle Bogle Hegarty as joint creative director
(Campaign, 10 October).
Doherty and her art director, Greg Martin, produced the ’lifeboat’
commercial for Alka-Seltzer Original which won a gold lion at this
year’s Cannes Festival as well as a D&AD silver award.
The appearance of XS follows an 18-month development programme by Bayer
which was spurred by figures claiming the UK’s adult population suffers
a total of 610 million hangovers a year.
Tom Nester-Smith, the Abbott Mead account director on Alka-Seltzer,
said: ’The idea is to re-energise the Alka-Seltzer name with a product
that appeals to people who are more likely to have hangovers. We also
want to differentiate XS from Alka-Seltzer Original, which will continue
to focus on food-related over-indulgence.’