Zicam® Taps Protagonist as Agency of Record

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New York-based Protagonist to Handle Traditional, Digital/Social and Experiential Marketing for the OTC Cold and Allergy Brand

[Protagonist's] expertise in social media and experiential - in addition to more traditional TV and print - brings a lot to the table.

Zicam®, the over-the-counter cold remedy and allergy brand owned by Matrixx Initiatives, Inc., has hired New York creative agency Protagonist, LLC, to handle all traditional, digital, and social marketing needs as the agency of record. Protagonist succeeds Grok, a New York advertising boutique.

Zicam CEO M’lou Arnett expressed her enthusiasm to be working with the new agency.

“We are very excited to have Protagonist come onboard,” Arnett said. “Their expertise in social media and experiential -- in addition to more traditional TV and print -- brings a lot to the table as we look to expand consumer touch points and accelerate our success.”

Led by agency veterans Tom Cotton and Jordan Rednor, Protagonist was founded in 2008 and has built successful campaigns for a variety of consumer brands including Slim-Fast, Puristics, Dex, and Lavazza coffee.

“We’re looking forward to helping Zicam reinforce its difference as a cold medicine that you take at the first sign of a cold that can actually shorten your cold,” Rednor commented. “We’re talking directly to consumers where they’re most likely to feel a cold coming on, with sponsorships at the McDonald’s Thanksgiving Parade last week in Chicago (it was plenty cold) and full-day activations in Herald Square and Chelsea Piers in NYC, complimenting cold season TV and radio flights,” he said.

In 2012, Zicam launched its current "Cold Monster” television campaign, focused on defining the Pre-Cold® stage – the first sniffle or sneeze that means a full-blown cold is on the way. The brand positioned itself as the Pre-Cold medicine, targeting proactive women who can’t take time away from their busy schedules for a drawn-out cold, based on Protagonist’s ExactCast consumer research, which it conducted with its research partner Whitman Insight Strategies.

Added Cotton: “We helped M’lou and her team set the current brand strategy two years ago with ExactCast, and it’s a thrill to now come full circle and handle all the brand’s creative duties, as well.”

The agency, increasingly known for its digital and social practice, is in the process of transforming Zicam’s Facebook page, accelerating consumer engagement with the brand’s “Cold Monster” campaign. Currently underway is the “Shorten Your Cold & Seize The Day” sweepstakes along with various giveaways and engaging content.

Zicam is sold nationwide at drugstores, mass, grocery, and club stores.

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Tiffany Petrosino
since: 10/2008
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