In 2004, Kaplow Communications conceived, developed and executed a tightly-themed campaign to relaunch Tylenol PM as a brand and product that effectively addresses a pervasive problem among Americans: sleep deficiency. The goal was to spotlight the byproducts and consequences of inadequate sleep and to introduce ways to optimize sleep habits.

There was nothing new about Tylenol PM, which had a ten year history as an OTC sleep aid and pain reliever. Although it was an effective product, its benefits did not resonate with consumers. The agency’s first challenge was to go beyond the negative repercussions of poor sleep and to turn the table on the topic, putting a compelling and newsworthy focus on the benefits of an optimal sleep regime. The second challenge was to influence consumers to make sleep a priority, become proactive when sleep problems arise, and think Tylenol PM when a solution is needed.

The strategic approach was to make contextual changes by taking Tylenol PM out of the realm of pharmaceuticals and pain relievers, positioning it in the broader lifestyle/wellness category, and taking sleep problems out of isolation and relating them to everyday performance and appearance; to generate interest in sleep education and make sleep news by researching and reporting on the extent of sleep problems in this country, the impact these problems have on daily function, and the benefits a good night’s sleep can bring to daily performance; to establish Tylenol PM as the “sleep wellness” authority and a one-stop media resource for sleep solutions by offering comprehensive research on all aspects of sleep; and finally to position Tylenol PM as the safe, gentle, proven solution for sleeplessness and nighttime pain.

Kaplow researched current and past views on the topic of sleep. With this research guiding our understanding of problems and available solutions, the firm conceived, sourced and assembled a panel of lifestyle experts – including a sleep researcher, a personal trainer, a dermatologist, and a modern, multitasking, “working” celebrity mom—to present their diverse and unique insights into the problems that arise from poor sleep habits.

The firm then used this panel to spotlight sleep problems and establish Tylenol PM both as an authority on sleep and as a product that directly and safely solved sleep problems.

Throughout the entire campaign, Kaplow conducted targeted brand sampling to influencers,
and strategic pitching to keep brand in the news.

In January through March, the firm sourced and secured four dynamic experts for the Sleep for
Success Council and conducted national survey on America’s sleep habits. Roll-out of the experts began even before the introduction of the Council. To coincide with the Oscars in February, the team launched “Red Carpet Fitness” SMT with Gunnar Peterson to disseminate the sleep-wellness message of Tylenol PM.

In April, Kaplow hosted the “Sleep for Success” Press Event to present survey results, introduce
Sleep for Success Council members to the media, spotlight key sleep issues and present solutions.

Since Americans get the least amount of sleep in the summer, the firm concentrated its efforts on getting coverage from June through August. It leveraged the Olympics and the political conventions to disseminate sleep wellness messages from Tylenol PM via an SMT featuring Dr. Maas, and arranged print and national radio interviews to address ‘beauty sleep’ and anti aging concerns, as well as relationship issues.

The campaign generated 80+ million media impressions.

In addition to placements in magazines as diverse as Marie Claire, Men’s Health, Health, GQ, and Fast Company, we secured extensive newspaper coverage including five individual placements in USA Today, which captured 27 million impressions; Electronic media pickup was widespread and brisk, with highlights including frequent mentions on New York’s WPLJ radio, and survey results being included in Jay Leno’s monologue on The Tonight Show in more than 250 U.S. markets, including Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Denver, Dallas, San Diego and New Orleans