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Why CBD brand OTO remixed iconic 90s rave hit 'Insomnia'


By Awards Analyst, writer

December 8, 2022 | 4 min read

The Romans for OTO CBD won at The Drum Awards for PR 2022 for Best Consumer Products or Services. Here, we find out how they got the UK nation to sleep better in the ‘Faithless x OTO: Insomnia’ campaign.

Faithless x OTO: Insomnia The Drop Off

Faithless x OTO: Insomnia The Drop Off

CBD products have become saturated in the UK market it's hard for consumers to know which ones are premium and crucially work. To stand out from the crowd OTO CBD tapped into UK club culture and helped an exhausted nation finally get some sleep.

The brief

With so many CBD brands in the market offering different solutions to a host of different ailments, OTO needed to differentiate itself and tell consumers what its product solved.

OTO wanted to spotlight its key Sleep Drops product and show customers they were scientifically and actually did the job. The Romans were tasked with launching OTO in the UK and elevating the brand above its 177 CBD competitors.

The idea

Costing £69 per 15ml bottle OTO's Sleep Drops are positioned as a premium product. The Romans looked to target affluent professionals, consumers in their late 30s and 40s, and people working stressful jobs and living in cities. Up first The Romans commissioned a study to understand the average length of time it takes a busy city-dwelling consumer to fall asleep. 27 Minutes is the figure the research generated.

What stuck with one Romans strategist during the study is that a lot of the insomnia symptoms resembled what it felt like to be on ecstasy. That is when the agency landed on the idea, the same audience they wanted to reach were the ones taking ecstasy in the raves of the 90s. They couldn’t sleep then and they can’t sleep now.

The Romans reframed the iconic “I can’t get no sleep” 1995 house track Insomnia by Faithless. The agency reached out to Faithless to remix the track into a 27-minute-long soundscape, as fans of CBD the group said yes, and the original composer Sister Bliss reproduced the track. Sony Music also came on board to collaborate.

The remix was uploaded to Spotify and Soundcloud which was then targeted to reach OTO’s key demo – sleep-deprived 40-year-olds.

The results

A week after the track dropped OTO had over 300 million media impressions over 100 pieces of coverage and 100,000 plays of the song. A flavor of headlines included: “Bad sleepers are finally getting the rest they need,” from the NME, “It took them 27 years but Faithless have finally got some sleep,” one Independent article wrote and the BBC penned: “The sleep anthem we’ve all been waiting for.”

OTO registered a significant sales uplift for the Sleep Drops for the four-week post-campaign period.

This campaign was a winner at The Drum Awards for PR 2022. You can see all the winners here. The Drum Awards for Marketing are currently open for entry. Find out how you can enter now.

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