Bayer leans on Claritin brand strength for allergy spray launch


What’s in a name? A lot, especially if you’ve already got solid brand equity in a crowded market. And so Bayer’s new nasal allergy OTC drug ClariSpray is taking two syllables--and possibly name recognition and brand affinity--from sister allergy oral medicine Claritin.

TV advertising introducing ClariSpray began in April two weeks after the product hit shelves, and it introduces the nasal spray as “new from the makers of Claritin.”

The twist, however, is that ClariSpray doesn’t contain the same ingredients as Claritin. Instead, ClariSpray contains fluticasone propionate, which is the generic name of GlaxoSmithKline’s ($GSK) nasal allergy spray Flonase. The ClariSpray ad notes that, in superimposed words on the screen, “ClariSpray and Claritin contain different ingredients.”

“The voiceover simply communicates the introduction of ClariSpray as a new product offering from the makers of Claritin. Bayer is pleased to introduce products such as ClariSpray to meet the varying needs of our consumers,” a Bayer spokeswoman told FiercePharmaMarketing via email.

ClariSpray, which officially went on retail shelves April 11, is being “strongly supported” by the TV ad--which is airing on most major networks--along with digital work, she said. Ad agency Energy BBDO created the campaign.

The allergy OTC drug category is crowded, and the branded nasal allergy spray field has been particularly competitive with the main contenders snagging OTC approvals over the past few years. Both GlaxoSmithKline and Sanofi ($SNY) have spent millions to promote their respective nasal sprays, Flonase and Nasacort, on TV--and recently they padded those totals launching advertising for kid-labeled versions of the products. Flonase has spent $45.4 million and Nasacort $26.3 million on TV ads since the beginning of 2016, according to data from real-time TV ad tracker

- watch the ClariSpray ad

Special Report: Pharma's top 10 M&A deals of 2014 - Bayer/Merck Consumer Health

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