Friday, October 21, 2016

Will Excedrin's debate tweets increase sales?

According to AdWeek, Excedrin won the final presidential debate with their #DebateHeadache sponsored Twitter tweets. 

The first one, which went live at 3 am, said: "The possibility of a #DebateHeadache is high.  Be prepared with Excedrin (R)."  The visual was a photo of the product with the line: "64% of Americans say avoiding headaches is impossible during a presidential election."  You can view all six tweets here...

By the time Wednesday ended, Excedrin had 46,000 Twitter mentions, representing a 3,100% increase versus the previous day.  Mentions spiked by 602% during the debate compared to the hour prior.  (Heine, 2016)

Pretty impressive.  But apparently the promoted trend cost "hundreds of thousands of dollars" and costs were increased further by a scattered overlay of additional promoted tweets.

So the question is, was this a smart move?  Will it translate into increased sales?  Has a tweet ever convinced you to buy something?  If so, what?

Heine, C. (2016, October 20)  Excedrin Won the Debate on Twitter Before It Even Started by Curing Your #DebateHeadache.  Retrieved October 21, 2016, from


  1. Given the overwhelming distaste for election season, i think this campaign is very clever. Hard to say whether or not it will increase sales; i am personally loyal to Advil for most pain related needs. Given the 80/20 rule, this could increase sales within the loyal consumer base (but willing to check out the excedrin bottle next time im in the drug store after seeing this campain). In regards to the budget spend on this campaign, I believe that basing an ad campaign around something as culturally relevant as the presidential campaign has a good ROI as it was most definitely recirculated by 3rd party online publishers for free.

  2. I think this is a great idea! I also saw on twitter during the debates a Delta tweet that I thought was so cute. It reads "whether right wing or left, it takes both to fly." I thought it was so clever. During the debate, it is almost the ONLY time you can garuntee to have a majorly large twitter audience - and companies should definitely take advantage of that. I think it is a smart move that will increase sales. Having said that - I'm not sure if a single tweet has swayed me to buy something.

  3. I think Excedrin came with a great marketing plan. This election is particularly very frustrating because there is very little substance and a lot of “cat fighting”. Both candidates have “strongly unfavorable” rating in all the polls and the debates, which in most races tend to be about how they will fix what is wrong. It is more about personal attacks and very little solutions.

    When watching the debate with someone who is on the other side of the political spectrum is extremely frustrating and most people do not see their candidates’ flaws so I would say that a migraine is more likely what happens.

    I think the tweets remind people that they have choices for the pressure that they are experiencing but I am not sure if it would make consumers run out and buy Excedrin. After the 90 minutes or so of the debate is over I like to watch the pundits on both size argue what they candidate could have done different or why the won the debate. Which generally is amusing and relaxes me.

    Back to whether the tweets are effective I think it brings awareness to the product and may be in the future someone that experience headache on a normal bases may grab a bottle but I don’t think anyone is leaving the debate to get Excedrin. I think people will stick to the products they normally use.

    Top of mind

  4. I have not seen the tweet but after a quick Web search i found these comments.

    - Great ad, now if you've got something for the associated nausea.

    - You should make an Excedrin for hangovers

    - how many of these do I have to take to kill myself if Hilary wins?

    There are mixed responses to the tweet and I'm afraid that some of them have the adverse effect of what Excedrin wanted to accomplished. I have not seen one comment that says Excedrin is great and it helps with migraine therefore I doubt that this tweet will translate into sales.

  5. I personally don’t use twitter therefore twitter never convinced me to buy anything, However now looking at the tweets by Excedrin I would consider buying it but most definitely I would remember it next time I looking for a pain killer.

    I really like the idea of connecting the debate with headache and using it for an ad. I just wonder why didn’t they post it on other social medias as well.

    As I said earlier I don’t use twitter and I think I`m not alone who just doesn’t get it. So by only using twitter they have no chance to reaching a huge demographic.

    Adam N.

  6. I think it is a super smart and well-designed campaign. I mean, isn’t it true that everyone is tired from all of the things the candidates are saying and get headache watching all the political debates?

    I believe that the format was perfect for Twitter. It actually reminded me an approach Oreos takes on this social media platform (that proved to be highly successful). People like catchy and memorable things like that on Twitter and I think this campaign was worth the investment.

    I definitely purchased things based on Twitter ads only, especially makeup. I check my news on Twitter and if something pops out in my feed that provides value to me (for instance, an announcement that my favorite makeup product is on sale), I will definitely check it out.

  7. William Gockel Figge

    I don't necessarily follow debate antics or even have a twitter but I have definitely not decide to buy something based on a tweet. I believe to be a great ad and a funny idea but its just didn't resonate with me so well. It is hard to say if it will have an affect on sales. We discussed it need to make a 10% boost in sale for it to be worth the ad and I just dont see it making that kind of increase

  8. I'm not very active on Twitter, so I cannot say that Twitter has every convinced me to buy anything. However, other social media platforms that I am active on (Instagram, mainly) have made influences on my purchases.

    I'm surprised that they paid to promote the tweet. I would have wondered whether they would have gotten as much of an organic lift without the paid promotion. It could be argued that their message was catchy and relevant enough to go viral organically if they had just hashtagged with the standard debate hashtags, #DebateNight #Debate2016, etc. Unfortunately, there is no way of knowing.