Melatonin brand Natrol is trying to take over daylight saving time, at least for the readers of The New York Times. Come this Sunday, when people set their clocks forward, every visitor to The New York Times website will be greeted by versions of a takeover ad for Natrol Melatonin.
It’s part of an overall attempt by Natrol and agency Phelps to own events throughout the year that disrupt people’s sleep cycles.
“Every brand wants to extend the buzz around an event to other engagement channels, but it’s getting harder to do,” said Mary Jo Sobotka, chief integrated media officer at Phelps. “Because it reaches a cross-section of educated people whose lives require quality sleep, The New York Times homepage takeover gives Natrol a timely, relevant connection across social media, from consumers to influencers to the editorial community.”
Natrol marketing director Thomas Hart saw an opportunity in the time change, because the shift upsets the body’s melatonin production. To have Natrol Melatonin own the equinox, Phelps came up with a mini campaign that kicks off on The Times site and then goes across the internet for a month.
"Daylight saving is one of the times when everyone is suddenly aware of their sleep," said Thomas Hart, marketing director at Natrol. "We have an opportunity to call attention to the impact that a lost hour of sleep makes on our quality of life, and do it with millions of high-performing people at once. There's no greater lead in to the value of melatonin."
This is the first time a brand has done a homepage takeover specifically for daylight savings time, making it a first for the category. See a preview page of how The New York Times will look on Sunday here.