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This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet

Executive Summary

McNEIL TYLENOL GELTAB LAUNCH WILL RECEIVE $ 40 MIL. IN PROMOTIONAL SUPPORT, including $ 15 mil. in dedicated national TV and print advertising starting Oct. 31, according to materials prepared by the company for the trade. Extra Strength Tylenol Geltabs join McNeil's Extra Strength Tylenol Gelcaps in the firm's "easy to swallow" gelatin-coated category. Packaging for the new gelatin-coated Tylenol tablets touts the same "exclusive Gelkote process" available on the gelcaps. Geltabs, which contain acetaminophen 500 mg, are billed as "powerful pain relief made easy to swallow." In consumer tests, 81% of consumers indicated an intent to purchase Extra Strength Tylenol Geltabs after trying the product, according to McNeil promotional materials. The company is projecting first-year retail sales of the new dosage form at about $ 75 mil. McNeil is kicking off the geltabs launch with the distribution of more than 700,000 six-count packages of the Extra Strength Tylenol Geltabs, pre-priced at 69 ", in September. Introduction of the trial-size packages will be followed by a rollout of 25-, 50-, and 100-count bottles. The geltabs will be priced at a premium to other Tylenol dosage forms. The launch will be supported with an aggressive coupon campaign of six drops in the first 10 months following introduction. The first nationwide free-standing insert contains a $ 1 off introductory solo coupon that will appear Oct. 31 in newspapers distributed to more than 45 mil. households. In addition, McNeil will distribute more than 3 mil. coupons offering $ 2.50 refunds on 24-count packages of geltabs in October. McNeil expects to drop more than 375 mil. coupons in all, according to trade materials. McNeil reported that BASES quantitative form marketing research found geltabs to be the "most preferred" Tylenol form, with 45% of consumers favoring them, compared to 35% favoring the gelcap. The gelcaps were introduced in May 1988, and Tylenol promotional materials noted that gelcap sales had grown 26% for the category from 1989 to 1992, according to IRI Neilsen figures. The new geltabs will be highlighted in advertising for the adult Tylenol line, McNeil indicated. McNeil's ad agency for the Tylenol line is Saatchi & Saatchi, New York. Ad spending for the Tylenol adult line will be $ 69 mil. during the 12 months following the launch. McNeil also will begin shipping its new Maximum Strength Tylenol Flu gelcaps in September. Reportedly, the product will be available nationwide in November. The "no drowsiness" formula, available in 10- and 20-count packages, carries indications for flu, severe cold and coughs. Each tablet includes 500 mg acetaminophen, 15 mg dextromethorphan, and 30 mg pseudoephedrine. The company has already started shipping its easy-opening Extra Strength Tylenol FastCap product in 72-count bottles featuring turn handles on the top of the cap for easier access for elderly and arthritic consumers ("The Tan Sheet" May 10, In Brief). The FastCap packaging is included in both the gelcap and caplet product lines. The FastCap product reportedly has a $ 15 mil. advertising budget with Saatchi & Saatchi.

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