Reckitt Benckiser cold and flu brand Mucinex is looking to spread COVID-19 facts instead of fear.
The new awareness effort encourages people to “Spread Facts, Not Fear” using simple, vibrant illustrations. Each ad presents a single piece of advice including wash hands, avoid handshakes, stay six feet away from others, avoid opinions and listen to experts. The advice was culled from the World Health Organization, Johns Hopkins Hospital and other global medical experts. The work was created by well-known illustrator Noma Bar, commissioned by McCann NY and McCann Health NY. Ads will run in print, out-of-home and on social media.
Mucinex, and its love-to-hate mascot Mr. Mucus, has been known to lean into news and cultural trends. It was the first OTC brand on the rising star platform TikTok with an October challenge and promotion. Mr. Mucus tapped into Super Bowl frenzy in 2018 with a post-game #SuperSickMonday push and, before that, he was an early virtual reality star with a real-time JFK airport interaction.
Could the brand risk striking the wrong tone at an anxious time? Maybe. However, a recent survey found that in general, 43% of consumers felt reassured to hear from brands they know and trust, while 40% wanted to know what brands are doing in response to the pandemic. In a 4A’s Research online survey of 1,000 people, only 15% of respondents said they did not want to hear from brands at all during this time.