Cannes Lions

Nigel Before Bed

PURERED, Princeton / SANOFI AVENTIS / 2022

Case Film
Demo Film






Xyzal is a true challenger brand. It was the fourth to market Rx to OTC allergy switch and was a small prescription brand with virtually no awareness and a difficult to pronounce name. Xyzal was far outspent by established brands with strong equity like Claritin, Zyrtec and Allegra. To succeed in the category Xyzal uncovered a meaningful unmet need – the impact of allergies on sleep and the next day.

The strategy and campaign focused on creating a point of difference - change the allergy treatment paradigm to take medication at night (vs. morning) so you can wake refreshed for a more productive day.


•Establish differentiated positioning for category and client portfolio, which had two other allergy brands

•Continue to drive sales with reduced investment post-launch

•Drive awareness with a breakthrough campaign and distinctive brand asset

•Exceed 130 CEI action standard (Commercial Effectiveness Index) in IPSOS copy testing


We learned that sleep-impacted allergy sufferers were an important, untapped target. But changing behavior, to take an allergy pill at night versus day, would require a unique creative solution.

The game-changing creative platform “Be Wise All Take Xyzal at Night” features Nigel, an animated owl, a category first. Nigel charms and educates allergy sufferers with his “Allergy Wisdom”. This wise “spokes-owl” broke through the sea of sameness with our distinct positioning “a better day starts with taking Xyzal at night.”

We combined the engagement and entertainment of Nigel with compelling facts about why to take Xyzal at night, plus how we favorably compare to more established allergy pills which was an important optimization to de-position the competition.

The campaign scored in the top 1% of IPSOS database for effectiveness. Nigel is now a distinctive asset second only to “Claritin Clear” that has been around for over 20 years.


The most challenging aspect of Nigel is the number of creature effects he requires to bring to life. In his original iteration, he not only had needed a unique feather groom, but also a fully dynamic jacket and monocle chain that would interact with those feathers as he moved. Last campaign we added a dynamic sleeping hat to his head. This time around we needed to add a robe that not only needed to interact with all the above but also needed to be taken off during the shot. This presented many technical hurdles that needed to be solved in order to reach the final result.

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