Excedrin - The Migraine Experience


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An estimated 36 million Americans suffer from migraines, but most people think they’re just bad headaches. In fact, it can be a debilitating condition, and migraine sufferers often feel misunderstood and discriminated against by non-sufferers.

With more than 50 years of research, Excedrin is the only pain reliever focused solely on head pain, making the brand uniquely qualified to understand and treat the condition.

In this context, the brief was to demonstrate Excedrin's deep understanding of the emotional and physical pain that migraine sufferers go through and to tackle their great frustration about not being understood.

This campaign aims to reinforce the brand’s leadership positioning in the head pain category, showing empathy and expertise, with the objective of driving strong brand consideration and favourability among migraine sufferers.


The migraine simulator was built using custom-designed 3D printed mounts that secured two wide-angled web cameras to the front of the VR headset. A real-time video feed was streamed into the touch designer software, which we then programmed to overlay personalized migraine symptoms onto the screens within the VR headset.

We have developed bespoke drivers and used a high-spec capture card to minimize lag on the two web cameras, which run simultaneously on one PC carried inside the backpack. This made The Migraine Experience as realistic as possible. We have seen many in the VR field try to tackle this problem, and fail, which makes this achievement particularly innovative.

We then teamed migraine sufferers with the VR developers in order to recreate the exact visual symptoms of their migraines.

A custom operating system was designed to control the experience and was hosted on a purpose-built iPad app, allowing our technician to supervise each participant wearing the device.

To increase the mobility of our innovation, we adapted the VR device, making it wireless by combining a processor, battery and cooling rack within a backpack, which users could then wear and walk around with.

Once finalized, we challenged friends, family and co-workers of four migraine sufferers to take on the visual symptoms of a migraine as part of a regular day.

We filmed them experiencing the migraine symptoms of the sufferers in a variety of controlled environments, from a crowded café to a busy subway train, creating a wealth of content that demonstrates the true impact of migraines.

“The Migraine Experience” campaign was launched in the US on April 4, 2016 on TV and online.

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