Reckitt’s Nurofen gets Aussie ‘real-life’ heroes onboard for its brand purpose campaign

The Drum looks at why Reckitt-owned pain relief brand Nurofen opted to launch its brand purpose campaign around Australia’s love of and reliance upon its many real-life heroes, from firemen and surf lifesavers, to helicopter rescue teams that bring emergency help to remote spots.

Leading pain relief brand Nurofen has launched its first-ever integrated brand campaign in Australia by taking a different route. Instead of onboarding a celebrity, the over-the-counter medicine brand from Reckitt Health Australia has opted for real-life heroes by associating with CareFlight, a non-profit aeromedical charity.

The integrated campaign created by Momentum Worldwide celebrates the brave work done by the nation’s life-saving heroes, who work relentlessly to safely fly patients and aeromedical teams around the country in critical scenarios. “The idea of the campaign is to help connect Australians with the brand’s purpose, in a way that has a real impact on the community,” says Henry Turgoose, Reckitt Health marketing director, in a chat with The Drum.

Strategic direction for the brand campaign

“This is Nurofen’s first brand purpose campaign and is a strategic step forward from the other campaigns, which focus on product efficacy – speed, strength, convenience,” says Turgoose. While it is still executing those messages, as they are the main drivers for consumer purchase in the time of need, the new Nurofen global brand platform, ‘Leave the pain to us,’ allowed it to be purpose-led in its local business decisions, he adds.

Nurofen Australia’s new initiative supports Aussies in life-saving roles to continue working tirelessly to achieve amazing things for themselves and others. Turgoose adds: “This isn’t a marketing campaign, but a commitment to our Aussies in life-saving roles.”

Nuts and bolts of the campaign

The brand campaign consists of three long-form films and four short-form films featuring CareFlight co-founder and long-serving pilot John Hoad, as well as some of the people whose lives he and his fellow pilots saved. The brand plans to support CareFlight over the next three years as its inaugural partner.

The engaging videos showcase the tough tasks John and his colleagues complete every day while saving lives of critical patients via CareFlight helicopters.

Behind the scenes

As per Andres Cantero, account director, Momentum, the production experience saw the team overcome their own adversity to make magic. “They say you shouldn’t work with kids or pets, but we may need to add active rescue choppers to that list.” Pandemic restrictions, La Niña’s unpredictable weather and various rescue callouts resulted in them scheduling and rescheduling the shoot several times and working with the aircrew between live missions, he adds.

The crew worked very closely with the medical and regulatory teams to ensure they were staying within the confines of the TGAC when pulling the entire campaign together.

Choosing the real-life ambassadors

Turgoose says: “We wanted a storytelling campaign that championed these people, the ‘doers,’ and people in life-saving roles embody the Nurofen audience best.”

CareFlight pilots have been identified as the inaugural partners in this new journey of the medicine brand.

To kick off the sponsorship, Nurofen donated AUD$90,000 to CareFlight in year one to fit out three of its world-class aeromedical helicopters with state-of-the-art night vision goggles to support pilots with rescues at night and in times of low visibility.


Nurofen – CareFlight brand video

CareFlight pilot video

Patient video (Lochie, teenager)

Patient video (Greg, pilot)