Kaz launches an integrated campaign for new Vicks thermometer

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An ad for Kaz's new Vick's thermometer displaying in an app
An ad for Kaz's new Vick's thermometer displaying in an app

Product manufacturer Kaz and agency Blue Chip Marketing Worldwide have partnered on a campaign to promote the new Vicks Behind Ear Thermometer. The campaign includes print ads, targeted email blasts, digital online ads, QR codes, place-based TV ads and geolocal targeting.

The multichannel campaign was rolled out in a limited fashion in December but will peak during the January and February flu season. The ads for the thermometer — which measures a baby's temperature by touching it to the back of the ear — display on various popular mobile apps that collect customer data, such as location, gender and whether the phone's owner has children.

“We wanted to reach experienced and expecting mothers while they were going about their daily lives,” said Blue Chip chairman and CEO Stanton Kawer via email. “These women are always on the go, we wanted to make sure they are in the know. We know she is always connected to her smartphone, so no matter where she is, what she is doing or the time of day, we can make sure she is prepared for the flu season.”

Google aggregated Web searches from 2003 to 2008 with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data. Using the location aspect of Web searchers' IP addresses, Google devised a formula to estimate regional flu activity based solely on Internet searches, according to a report by The New York Times.

Kaz leveraged Google's predictive model to target the new thermometer ads to moms and expectant mothers, who are in an area where the flu is trending high. Blue Chip partnered with third-party ad network Where.com, which has the geolocation technology necessary and the ability to tap into Google's flu trends to properly target the ads, said Sarah Van Heirseele, VP of digital at Blue Chip.

“Apps like Pandora sell mobile ads directly to some marketers, but when they don't have the inventory, they call upon third-party ad networks like Where.com to get an appropriate ad for a specific user of an app,” she said. “Where.com instantly checks the criteria: Is the geography right, is the demographic right and are the flu levels right? If so, the Kaz ad is served up on the ad or mobile website.”

Kaz partnered with Blue Chip specifically to try out this kind of extreme targeting because the agency is known to "think outside of the box," said Lara Peterson, VP of marketing and healthcare at Kaz, via email.

“Behind-ear is a noninvasive and innovative way to measure fever, and we knew we needed an innovative way to communicate this product to moms,” Peterson said, adding that the more targeted elements “make sure we reach mom at her everyday touchpoints.”

Although still in its infancy, Van Heirseele said the mobile campaign is already showing signs of success. “Click-through rates during the soft launch period are more than double what was originally anticipated,” she said, adding that the bulk of the impressions will serve in January and February.

Kaz declined to comment on the cost of the campaign.

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