Supermarkets have been aggressively promoting Aleve, the new pain reliever containing 200-mg naproxen and 20-mg sodium, in full-page newspaper and circular ads. The analgesic, released June 13, is being marketed jointly by Syntex, Palo Alto, Calif., and Procter & Gamble, Cincinnati.
Among the supermarket chains that ran full-page ads during the first week of the launch were A&P, Montvale, N.J.; Kroger, Cincinnati, and ShopRite, Norwalk, Conn.
In a related development, Winn-Dixie Stores, Jacksonville, Fla., announced that it will stock all new over-the-counter medications within two weeks of their launch.
Most supermarket pharmacy directors praised the efforts by Syntex and Procter & Gamble in launching Aleve. One West Coast director said he appreciated that Syntex and P&G called on his supermarket together, and that discussions involved both the pharmacy and health and beauty care departments.
Promotional literature available to pharmacies included shelf tags that say, "Ask your pharmacist about the new Aleve," and a tear-off pad of information sheets of questions and answers about Aleve.
However, other pharmacy directors were critical of P&G for not spending more of its allotted $100 million promotion kitty to promote through the trade. Trade allowances for co-op advertising were reportedly hundreds of dollars short of what some retailers had expected.
Wall Street analysts project revenues for Aleve of $200 million in its first year competing in the $2.4 billion analgesic market.
To help supermarkets make the most of the Aleve launch and subsequent switches, the General Merchandise Distributors Council, Colorado Springs, Colo., recently released its newest publication devoted to marketing switches, called "The ABC's of Rx to OTC Merchandising." The booklet presents three case histories of how real supermarkets successfully marketed Tavist and Tavist D.
The letter "A" of the title stands for "aggressively commit to the opportunity"; "B" stands for "be first in the market," and "C" stands for "communicate effectively with your customers and employees."