Mucinex Snot Monster - Reckitt Benckiser

Character: Mucinex Snot Monster
Company: Reckitt Benckiser

It's hard to forget the slimy green Mucinex character, but sometimes even snot monsters need a makeover. Reckitt Benckiser launched its first ad featuring the animated green anti-hero 10 years ago. Back then, the creative team was looking for a way to talk about mucus, which, not surprisingly, most brands weren't doing at the time. Richard Sidoli, RB's senior brand manager of healthcare and brand equity, told FiercePharmaMarketing. that the company also wanted to create an engaging character that would work in a television commercial. Enter Mr. Mucus.

Last October, though, Reckitt decided Mr. Mucus needed a new look. The company wanted to "refresh and update" the campaign, and part of that involved making it less functional and more emotional, Sidoli said.

An example of the old Mr. Mucus shows the character inside a real-life woman in a bathrobe coughing and looking miserable. Inside her body, Mr. Mucus and a few fellow green goons take turns playing at a pinball machine of cold symptoms. Brightly colored words like "headache," "cough," and "chest congestion" light up as they play until Mr. Mucus reaches the high score of "multiple symptoms." The commercial ends with the tagline "Mucinex In. Mucus Out.

But the transformed Mr. Mucus is now more of a real "person" and with the new tagline "Start the relief. Ditch the Misery. Let's End This," Sidoli said, "It's trying to get an understanding of what consumers are going through when they're dealing with a cold, and the misery along with it. And that Mucinex can end the misery of a cold or the flu."

In a new ad called "Mucinex Taco Tuesday," for instance, a man comes downstairs ready for work and finds Mr. Mucus getting dressed for work in front of a mirror. The two have a conversation with Mr. Mucus saying he's coming to work. But the man tells him he has 12-hour Mucinex, so Mr. Mucus won't be joining the Taco Tuesday party.

The ads are already generating positive results, "performing even better than the previous campaign, which was already very successful," Sidoli said.

However, this might not be the last time Mr. Mucus or the Mucinex campaign gets an update. Animation has evolved so much over the past 10 years, and companies can do more with it than they could in the past, Sidoli said. Now, Reckitt is exploring different avenues for its campaign, including digital.

One example is the "Mr. Mucus Reads Sick Tweets" campaign, which the company rolled out earlier this year. In the ad, Mr. Mucus spoofs Jimmy Kimmel's semi-regular feature with celebrity reading mean tweets. Mr. Mucus reads comments about himself from Twitter, such as, "My grandma thought that the ball of mucus in the Mucinex commercial was a talking pear."

"If you look at how you bring your message to life on Facebook versus YouTube versus television, you want to make sure that you're developing stories or ways to engage with the consumers that are tailored to the way they want to see it," Sidoli said. -- Emily Wasserman

For more:
Labeling foul-up involving acetaminophen leads RB to recall 135 lots of Mucinex
Love to hate Mr. Mucus? The Mucinex snot monster is back with a McCann makeover


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