First launched in 2012, GSk’s Pledge To Quit targets cigarette smokers in pre-store environments, such as shopping centre common areas.
It is based on findings that individuals are more likely to stop smoking if they have an event trigger, such as New Years, and tell others of their decision to quit.
Subsequently, Nicabate asks its participants ‘pledge’ to quit via social media and by wearing finger bands on their index fingers.
The campaign is also based around World No Tobacco Day, with participants pledging to kick their habit on May 31.
Daniel Thorpe, category marketing manager of wellness, GSK consumer healthcare, says the initiative’s target audience is a failed quitter that’s looking for a “silver bullet”.
GSK aims to build the nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) category by mapping out quitters’ decisions and shopping needs for them.
“Our shopper suffers from what we call nico-confusion. As if quitting smoking wasn’t difficult enough without that,” says Thorpe.
Breaking low urgency barriers
Pledge To Quit’s pre-store activities are bolstered by instore marketing at pharmacies and supermarkets, with discount promotions and shelf talkers pivotal.
“We really believe that retail strategies are key to closing the loop,” says Georgia Bruton, GM of GSK’s shopper marketing agency, Integer.
Bruton says grocery presented a challenge for Nicabate, as shoppers are not generally in the mindset to quit smoking while shopping for their weekly shop.
“The major barrier was a low purchase urgency. It’s not urgent to quit smoking when you’re going to buy groceries,” she says.
“This means we needed to get instore visibility and location, because once the shopper gets into the [healthcare supermarket] aisle, its a sea of sameness.
“Knowing the retailers, we knew we had to create something exclusive for each of them.”
Interactive aisle talkers, which let quitters figure out their NRT needs, were installed in Woolworths supermarkets, while Coles was engaged via a Nicabate voucher drive.
When it came to the pharmacy channel, GSK trained more than 200 store assistants on how to identify a quitter’s individual product needs.
Category over brand boost
Sales in the NRT category rose by four per cent during the 2013 campaign, with shopper awareness up from around 25 per cent to 54 per cent.
While Pledge To Quit promoted Nicabate products only, Bruton said it was more beneficial to focus on building NRT as a category.
Speaking at the POPAI Shopper Summit last week, she said every good example has “three killer ingredients”: robust analysis, a good idea, and retailer strategies.
“The clout of a truly integrated idea is that, if it’s not simple and it doesn’t work on a wobbler instore, then it won’t work.”
Nicabate may look to including petrol and convenience stores in its 2014 campaign, as well as government health bodies.