Menopause gets a makeover

The marketing strategy for 10-year-old menopause supplement Estroven is getting a midlife makeover.

The new $20 million campaign focuses on a woman’s quality of life rather than of symptoms like hot flashes and mood swings. It also reflects a shift in marketing budget, with more spend moved from TV advertising to Internet and print media.

“[When compared to] a decade ago, menopause today is a much more com­monly used term, and doesn’t necessarily carry a negative connotation,” said Steve Swenson, director of marketing at Amerifit Brands Inc., which markets Estroven.

Company research shows women enter­ing menopause view it as a time when they have the wisdom and resources to make the most of their lives. The site, at provides a forum where “women can go and start dreaming about the things they can do with the rest of their lives,” Swenson said.

Designed as a resource, the site tries to use empathy and humor to communicate information. It focuses on natural mes­saging, showing women outdoors. It also links to the Estroven Web site.

Next month, the site will be expanded with a referral element, a postcard “send-a-friend” feature. Plans to continue adding to with other inter­active and community-oriented features are also part of Amerifit’s plans.

The overarching message that life is good in Menopauseland is carried through to new network TV, cable, print and Inter­net ads. This includes media buys with the Fine Living Network and Lifetime, maga­zines such as Cooking Light; O, The Oprah Magazine and Prevention, and Web sites that reach the desired audience including WebMD, CondeNet and AOL.

In the past, Amerifit had put approxi­mately 98% of its marketing spend into TV advertising. The current budget is “much more evenly allocated” between TV, print and online, Swenson said.

The company has found that women like to do a lot of research on menopause supplements online before they make a purchase, he said.

The new marketing focus for Estroven also came about because marketing in the menopause supplement category “has been relatively quiet,” even while the large generation of baby boomer women are entering this phase of life, according to Michael Goldstein, director of account management at BrandBuzz. The divi­sion of Young & Rubicam worked with Amerifit on the Estroven campaign.

“A lot of women are confused” about what they should be doing to address menopause symptoms, Goldstein said. “We created Menopauseland to commu­nicate that menopause doesn’t have to be all that bad,” he added.

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