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Rethinking The Flu Vaccine


For years, sales of the flu shot had be flattening as consumers increasingly felt that the hassle of getting vaccinated was more inconvenient than getting the flu. To change the sales trajectory of Fluvirin, Novartis’s branded influenza vaccine, we needed to change consumer mindset. The motivating insight was to shift the reason for getting vaccinated from I to them – by getting vaccinated and staying healthy I help prevent my loved ones from getting sick. That year Novartis sold out of its vaccines by mid February.


We took the seemingly innocent acts of kindness, touching moments between family members, and in a very tongue-in-cheek sort of way, made them seem dangerous. An unbranded TV campaign, supported by targeted online display ads and regional out-of-home efforts – mostly bus sides, bus shelters and phone kiosks – urged consumers, in areas where Novartis had good penetration, to go to their local pharmacies to get vaccinated. Two spots ran in rotation and an all-type print/digital campaign helped to stretch the budget. Fueled by the campaign’s tagline Share the love, not the flu, the key insight was brought to life.