Got a cold? Fisherman’s Friend wants you to suck it up

Creative from Giants & Gentlemen harkens back to the brand's roots

Michelle DiPardo November 05, 2015

Fisherman’s Friend is encouraging Canadians to suck it up and dig deep this cold and flu season with a new spot that pushes grit and toughness.

The effort from Toronto-based shop Giants & Gentlemen, which won the account earlier this year, represents a new positioning for the throat lozenge brand, one that harkens back to the product’s roots. Fisherman’s Friend was developed  by pharmacist James Lofthouse in 1865 to relieve the respiratory issues experienced by fishermen working in the extreme conditions of the North Atlantic.

“Fisherman’s Friend is known for its strong taste, great heritage and efficacy,” Alanna Nathanson, partner and creative director at Giants & Gentlemen, told Marketing. “Recently the communication has been more targeted to driving female adoption and launching new flavours. In discussions with Giants & Gentleman, Fisherman’s Friend agreed to return to building its core positioning. By leveraging category and consumer insights, we landed on a ‘tough love’ creative brief.”

A 30-second TV spot, which introduces the brand’s new  “Suck it Up” tagline, is running nationally in both English and French, and focuses on the recently-launched honey lemon flavour. The ad features tough men from the past, who despite having a cold, still managed to sword fight, bare-knuckle brawl, and fight bears. The spot ends with a shot of a sick, miserable, modern man in bed, while the voiceover urges him to “suck it up.”

The effort is aimed at adults 25-45, and those who possess “a masculine attitude,” Nathanson added. It runs until the end of March.

Mediacom handled the buy.