Repositioning a storied brand with the “mental energy” to compete in a crowded, caffeinated marketplace

We all experience it: those few hours after lunch, when the tryptophan in our turkey sandwich catches up to us… and your eyelids feel like weights…

Or what about those college papers, projects and exams that need one more long night to sludge through… but it’s 2 AM… and you’re fighting the sandman…

These are just a few of the consumer pains that Vivarin have been addressing for decades. As an easy-to-use, additive-free caffeine tablet, Vivarin wrote the script on safe coffee alternatives for alertness – designed for busy people, late shift workers and students with challenging schedules. Those yellow pills have been a main staple on campuses and in offices for years, and have earned a solid reputation as a trusted and reliable “shot in the arm” when you need it most.

As a proven legacy brand, Vivarin still retained some visibility. But that was being increasingly jolted by a new category – energy drinks. As brands like Red Bull and Monster entered the marketplace with their flashy, mosh-pit messaging, they consumed the conversation with a whole new segment: young professionals and Millennials. Even mammoth brands like Gatorade were continuing to innovate with new energy and alertness products, further fragmenting and confusing the market.

How could an older, tired brand compete with these exciting new beverages that were rapidly becoming all the rage?

The answer: wake up the market with a fully-caffeinated kick from DaynerHall.

After analyzing the challenges and opportunities through our ValueArc filter, it was clear that Vivarin had distinct advantages over these “chemistry experiments in a can.” Laden with sugar, guarine, taurine, and other unidentifiable “-ines,” Vivarin was able to tout its position as a safer alertness aid, and one that was much easier to take at any time.

While energy drinks were making their case to the “party” part of the market, no one was making a serious play around “focus” in the professional and student segments. After carefully analyzing market research from a range of sources, DaynerHall worked with the Vivarin team to develop a new and disruptive message to the market - that Vivarin is “Mental Energy.” This was a fresh and unique position with a clear benefit for consumers: Vivarin not only wakes you up, but it helps you focus, so you can be more productive and successful. This message was also relatable to the gaming market, creating a bridge to a younger demographic.

The “Mental Energy” position was woven into every communications tool – from the tagline and logo lockup to digital advertising assets. To help convey the message with impact, DaynerHall created a video campaign around the concept of “The 3 O’Clock Wall” – the time of day when busy professionals experience drowsiness and lost productivity. The humorous and spirited spot positioned Vivarin as the easiest, safest and most effective solution as compared to coffee and energy drinks – and created renewed energy around the Vivarin brand. The concept was also used in a broad digital campaign, including pre-roll video, banner ads, email/landing page programs and coupons.

To help educate the market, a second phase of the program was created – illustrating the benefits of Vivarin over competitive products. To make the experience simple, playful and interactive, a “stick figure” graphic style was employed, creating a unique context for engaging the audience. At the center of the program was a new website, built to promote these messages in a light and positive manner. The site featured competitive facts, figures and trends – as well as funny and entertaining illustrations that made Vivarin’s attributes clear and memorable. DaynerHall also created a short “site” video in the same style, highlighting the Vivarin advantages and defining the “Mental Energy” position.

DaynerHall continues to support Vivarin as it recaptures market share and grows its awareness. From branding to digital campaigns to merchandise, they continue to see solid results in their quest to wake up the market.

Services Include

  • advertising (print/online)
  • animation
  • banners (static/animated)
  • broadcast television commercials
  • campaign management
  • copywriting and editing
  • e-mail campaigns
  • experiential marketing
  • Integrated Campaign Strategies
  • interactive (demos)
  • Interactive (Online, Video)
  • landing page design
  • media negotiation management
  • tradeshow and event design