Home | Careers | BI | Contact us

Advil – a Superbrand in Israel

2012 marks the third year Advil has won “Superbrand” status in the healthcare arena in Israel. This title was awarded by the Israeli Marketing Forum after research conducted by the Superbrands organization.  We are pleased to share Advil’s marketing success story in Israel published in the 2012 Superbrands Book.

סופרברנד 2012

Advil – Stronger than pain

Advil Liqui-Gel pain relief medication was successfully launched in Israel over ten years ago. During the past year, the brand has taken a leap and significantly increased its market share with a new marketing strategy under the slogan

“Advil – Stronger than Pain”

Advil pain relief medication was introduced in the United States in 1984, the first over the counter pain relief medication based on Ibuprofen. One year later, brand sales stood at $60 million. From 1984 to 2003, almost 6.5 billion units of Advil were sold in total. In 2009, Advil manufacturer Wyeth was acquired by the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, which then became owner of the brand.

In Israel, the Advil brand was launched in 2000 by Neopharm. Until that time, many Israeli consumers used to acquire Advil in the US and bring it into the country for private use.

אדויל ליקווי ג'ל

Advil Liqui-Gel is a pain relief medication based on the active ingredient Ibuprofen, which appears in liquid form inside a patent-protected gel capsule. Advil Liqui-Gel, which is sold over the counter, quickly reaches the site of the pain and is designed to efficiently and quickly treat various types of pain: headache, back pain, muscle pain, joint pain, tooth pain and menstrual pain. In addition, Advil is an antipyretic and an anti-inflammatory medication.


The Competitive Environment

The pain relief category is divided into three main sub-groups based on three different types of active ingredients: Paracetamol (active ingredient in Acamol, Dexamol, etc.), Dipyrone (active ingredient in Optalgin) and Ibuprofen (active ingredient in Advil, Adex, etc.)

The pain relief category is characterized by an extremely high penetration rate: approximately 93% of consumers in Israel use pain relief medication. Most use more than one brand and tend to keep several products at home. Until the launch of Advil, the sector was led by three brands that operated in Israel for many years.


The Launch of Advil in Israel

In light of the high penetration rate of over the counter pain relief medication in Israel and the strength of the existing brands, it was clear to Neopharm that its main marketing challenge would be to shift consumers from use of other pain relievers to Advil.

Therefore, although in all markets where Advil is marketed the Advil tablets is launched first, and the marketing of Liqui-Gel formula begins only when it gains a strong position in the market, in Israel it was decided to launch the Liqui-Gel capsule from the beginning in order to create significant differentiation from existing brands and to offer consumers added value based on innovation.

In addition, the launch of Advil Liqui-Gel in Israel was meticulously planned. The marketing activity was extensive, and included both the consumers and the professional audience – doctors and pharmacists.


In accordance with the marketing strategy, the launch campaign on television presented the advantages of Liqui-Gel for quick and effective relief of pain. The ad presented the brand product benefits directly, clearly and simply, by showing an opening gel capsule, from which poured out the liquid that worked effectively and quickly to alleviate pain. The main message of the launch was: “The capsule with the liquid that relieves the pain- fast!”

אדויל ילדים

The massive activity at the time of launch at the point of sale generated tremendous exposure for the product, and helped consumers form an impression of the unique shape of the product as well as its pain relief benefits.

Surveys conducted after the launch found that the messages and benefits that were broadcast were understood by the consumers, and Advil was perceived as an effective and fast pain relief medication, as well as an innovative, hi-tech and desired product.

Point of sale activity, in addition to a massive public relations campaign, generated immediate demand for Advil Liqui-Gel. Inventory planned for an entire year was sold within six weeks; within less than two years, Advil became the leading brand in the Ibuprofen category in Israel, capturing a significant share of the entire pain relief market.

אדויל קולד אנד סינוס

In order to maximize the marketing momentum created as a result of the successful launch, Neopharm expanded its supply of solutions under the brand by launching two additional products in the Advil umbrella brand:

  •  Advil Children – suspension for antipyretic and pain relief in children, in fruit and grape flavors, launched in 2002
  • Advil Cold & Sinus – for the relief of common cold and flu symptoms associated with pain, fever and nasal congestion, launched in 2007.

With the regulations that allow selling over the counter drugs in pharmacies going into effect in Israel, Advil was the first pain relief medication in the Ibuprofen subcategory that was sold over the counter, opening an additional distribution channel where Advil established its leadership.

New Marketing Challenges

After ten years during which Advil established its status among consumers, the brand faced new and significant marketing challenges: to increase the market share in a crowded and competitive category and to make sure that Advil remained the first choice among consumers – without the brand offering new products.

In order to adapt the marketing strategy to this point in time in the product’s life, Neopharm conducted comprehensive market research that was analyzed along with insights gained from consumer surveys from around the world, which Pfizer shared with the Neopharm marketing team in order to gain an in-depth understanding of consumers worldwide as well as the unique characteristics of the Israeli consumer.

Studies revealed that the most important parameters for consumers when purchasing pain relief medication are safety, effectiveness and fast action – in which Advil has an advantage. In addition, the studies found that fast action was the main message that spearheaded the brand’s marketing activities for many years and was thoroughly internalized by Israeli consumers.

As a result, it was decided that from hereon the message of Advil’s efficacy as a pain reliever would be emphasized while making fast action the secondary message, in order to maintain the consumers’ perception of Advil as a leader in fast relief. In order to prevent consumers from feeling that the product has changed and harming their relationship with the brand, it was decided to avoid any major change in strategy but to adapt and refine to the new situation.

Accordingly, as of 2011, Advil formulated a new communication message in Israel under the slogan “Advil – Stronger than Pain”.

The communications language has become rational in contrast with the humorous tone that had characterized the brand in the past, in order to send a message to consumers in a clear and simple way.

In addition to the marketing activity for consumers, Neopharm’s detailing and sales teams worked simultaneously with pharmacists and physicians, providing them with professional information based on research that proved the efficacy of Advil Liqui-Gel over other pain relief medications.

Surveys conducted after the campaign revealed that the messages were understood by consumers, that brand awareness increased, as well as the intent to purchase and the consumer transition to using Advil. It was also found that the campaign’s design language generated affiliation and strong prominence of the Advil brand.

Following the new strategy, Advil has experienced another leap in Israel over the past two years, increasing its sales in the pain relief medication category without any new launches and in a competitive market characterized by an extremely high penetration rate and limited growth ability.


Things You Didn’t Know About Advil

  • Unlike other worldwide markets where the Advil tablets is launched first, followed then by the Liqui-Gel, in Israel the strategy decided upon was to immediately launch the Liqui-Gel.
  • The active ingredient in Advil, Ibuprofen, is a common molecule from the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory family.
  • Advil pain relief medication appeared in many movie scenes such as “What Women Want” starring Mel Gibson and “The Devil Wore Prada” starring Meryl Streep.
  • For several years now, the prestigious Stanford University has a group named Advil, which plays a game that involves a long journey of solving a puzzle.

Home | About Us | Companies | Partnering | Research | Corporate Citizenship | Careers | Newsroom | Contact | Legal Notice

All Rights reserved, Neopharm Group, Israel | Design by: VAZA | Developed by: The Shark Lady