Ricola gets loud to promote its all-occasion utility

Who: Ricola Canada and Fuse Create, with Vapor Music for audio, The Faculty for animation, and VMC Media for media. Influencer campaign by Liv Public Relations.

What: “It’s good to have Ricola at the ready,” a cheery new campaign for the lozenge brand that positions it as a year-round remedy for a raw/sore throat, rather than just something to be used during cough and cold season.

When & Where: The campaign debuted this week, running solely in Ontario as part of a four-week test. Ads are running across social (including the brand’s TikTok debut), while VMC Media’s media plan includes in-store, out-of-home and print (below). The goal is to roll out the campaign nationally later this year or in 2022.

The influencer component led by Liv Public Relations features creators or influencers who regularly strain their voice or throat, including longtime Toronto Raptors superfan Nav Bhatia.

Why: The campaign is furthering the brand’s “Everyday voice” positioning, a term used by the brand to define specific usage occasions that are not cold or cough related.

“Whether you’re singing your favourite tune, cheering on your team or a working parent balancing video calls and home schooling, Ricola has your tired voice covered,” said director of marketing Alok Ummat.

How: The campaign is built around a series of 15-second videos that present scenarios in which people are yelling or screaming—from riding a rollercoaster to riding a mountain bike or watching a game. The idea is that even though their throat might get soar from screaming, they have a cure at hand.

All of the creative frames the action as seen from the inside of someone’s mouth, their uvula (that fleshy protuberance at the back of our throat) shaking and quivering as they yell and scream.

“We wanted to have these real moments unfold in front of your eyes, so that when you hear the scream and see that uvula going nuts, you can really picture yourself there ad think ‘Yeah, I do scream on a rollercoaster and it would be good to have Ricola ready because my throat has been sore after such an event,” said Fuse Create’s executive creative director, Steve Miller.

In each video, the phrase “Yell/scream/yelp/cheer your heart out” appears, with the word “heart’ crossed out and replaced with the word “throat.” Each spot concludes with a product shot, accompanied by the message “It’s good to have Ricola at the ready” and its instantly recognizable three-note “Ri-co-la” mnemonic.

The videos were all designed to have what Miller described as “sound-off appeal” to ensure they play well on social, where ads often play sans audio. “As you’re thumbing through your feed and you see that bright yellow work and that mouth start to open, it has some drawing power,” he said.

And we quote: “This work is just so fun and simple. It cuts straight to the chase and does so in the most ‘internet’ of ways, as Ricola continues to evolve its throat care positioning.” — Steve Miller, executive creative director, Fuse Create

A Fuse Create executive is a financial supporter of The Message. Financial supporters have no influence or input on editorial.

Chris Powell