Cannes Lions

A Responsibility Dose



1 Shortlisted Cannes Lions
Case Film
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For years, and today more than ever, the pharmaceutic industry has been selling painkillers as if they were candy. They incentivized disproportionate levels of consumption and came up with all kinds of reasons to justify their need.

After doing a lot of media and social listening, we found that consumers respond to these messages by just accepting whatever they’re being told, without realizing the risks of self-medicating.

In Argentina alone, over 60 people die everyday, and more than 100,000 are hospitalized a year, for this reason.

With all this data, there was just one thing left to do: disseminate the right message.

The big challenge was to advertise for a painkiller without participating in the merciless schemes the industry resorts to that harms consumers instead of curing them.

We decided to put together an honest and responsible campaign, putting people’s health before sales, and it couldn’t have worked out better.


We did what no lab has done before, tell people not to use our product.

A Responsibility Dose is a multiplatform campaign that discourages using painkillers and self-medication altogether, offering natural solutions for symptoms people traditionally take painkillers to alleviate.

Every outlet had a strictly targeted message.

A hero video set off the conversation on self-medication, vindicating some discomfort and underlining on the body’s ability to heal itself.

The Anti Self-Medication Pack reminded people of healthier alternatives before relying on medication right before they took it.

A search algorithm allowed us to detect the most commonly Googled symptoms and respond to them with messages that strongly discouraged self-medication, even offering to set up an online appointment with a health professional.

We were able to reach consumers at every point of contact with a clear message – there are healthier ways to alleviate discomfort before deciding to take a painkiller.


People everywhere are harmfully self-medicating, and the pharmaceutic industry is to blame. In Argentina alone, 50% of the people self-medicate, which in turn leads to over than 60 deaths per day.

Fabogesic Ibuprofen’s strategy was powerful: to communicate with responsibility and encourage people not to take painkillers for minor discomforts.

The campaign’s goal was to raise awareness on self-medication, while changing people’s minds about pain: a certain degree of aching can indicate you’ve made an effort and that’s a good thing. That’s why we invited people to choose among several alternatives to painkillers (e.g. ice, resting, stretching, etc.) at every touchpoint.


A Responsibility Dose is a comprehensive campaign to dissuade people from taking painkillers and self-medicating altogether, at every contact point.

Hero content exposes how certain types of discomfort can account for hard work. A healthy body should recover from them with no need for medication.

A mixed-media approach amplified the message at the best time.

In Search, we focused on the symptoms people Googled the most, and developed an algorithm capable of detecting them and replying with alterative solutions to avoid self-medication.

Social media and banners redirected people to a website with tips and tutorials on how to alleviate the most common types of discomfort without resorting to painkillers. You could even set up an online appointment with a medical doctor on the website.

We also redesigned the packaging and created the Anti Self-medication Pack, reminding consumers of healthier solutions to deal with pain, before resorting to a painkiller.


Although the campaign is in the initial stages, results look promising:

Landings on our tutorial website increased by 235%.

Google searches for “alternatives to painkillers” and related terms, increased by 36.8%.

Online checkups for the most common physical discomfort increased by 206% while the campaign was running.

With US$0 allocated to media support, the campaign had 94% positive comments on social media platforms.

The campaign’s success not only endorsed Fabogesic and their responsible message, sales also increased by 18.2% while the campaign was running. Although this would seem to contradict our goal, in fact it didn’t. Total painkiller purchases dropped by 2.9% during the same period indicating that consumers migrated from other brands to Fabogesic.

A Responsibility Dose was Fabogesic’s way to speak boldly and responsibly in the painkiller category – one that is known for the ruthless way it communicates for the sole purpose of increasing sales.

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