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Taking the bull by the horns - Bray Leino for Covonia

by Cat Davis

How we reinvigorated Covonia by capturing the spirit of cough-fighters.

A red rag

Cough sufferers describe Covonia’s taste as “an assault on the senses” that “you can actually feel working”.

The consumer and Covonia shared the same mentality: ‘get through this’. We combined this with the efficacy message based on the distinctive taste and uncovered an opportunity to stand out in store.

This had a big impact on our approach: moving consumer mentality from ‘victim’ to ‘fighter’; moving the brand role from ‘problem solver’ (we’ll treat your cough), to ‘provocateur’ (‘have you got what it takes?’)

Our creative needed to work hard to reflect this distinctive brand personality across even the more product focused executions; Covonia went from being about what the product promised to the attitude of the person taking it.

Bullish attitude

Our campaign issued a challenge – have consumers ‘Got the bottle?’ to ride the bull and feel the power. The tone was dark and aggressive. It didn’t offer a solution so much as throw down a gauntlet.

The gritty new approach hit the ground running and, four years on, shows no signs of slowing. This Covonian spirit continues to this day through new and innovative campaigns:

- THE FIRST cough brand to run a multi-channel campaign, covering TV, cinema, OOH and digital

- THE FIRST cough brand to use social media communication

- And in the last 12 months, launched THE FIRST AI tool to predict regions with cough and cold outbreaks and digitally deliver hard-hitting creative directly to sufferers


The new strategy drove a 25% boost in sales, outperforming every brand in the market at a fraction of competitors’ spend, and bagging IPA Effectiveness, Digital Impact and Drum Roses awards in the process.

Sights are now set on becoming #1 in the market place.

Covonia Brand Manager, Kelly Auty said “Covonia’s phenomenal growth over the past decade is underpinned by award-winning advertising and product development. Bray Leino have successfully captured the unique spirit of Covonia and found new and exciting ways to drive both sales and consumer engagement.”