- Reckitt Benckiser's Mucinex cough medicine brand plans to sell limited-edition clothing in a livestreamed event on its website and YouTube at 8 p.m. on Oct. 20. The "Sickwear" collection, which is designed to comfort people recovering from a cold, consists of apparel and accessories that sell for $46 to $140, the company said.
- Mucinex's livestream will include a fashion show featuring a group of YouTube personalities the brand calls the "Front Row of The Future" who will turn their "private bedrooms into runways" to model the clothing. The gender-neutral items have special features for when wearers are ill, including tissue pockets, aromatherapy sleeves, pillow hoodies and retractable eye masks.
- Releasing a designer capsule collection is a tactic popularized by QSR chains and food and beverage brands, but uncommon for medicine brands like Mucinex. By teaming with a diverse group of creatives and using a direct-to-consumer (DTC) approach, the brand can directly reach younger consumers for an apparel line that is well-suited for its product.
Mucinex's livestreamed fashion show for its Sickwear collection is notable for its DTC strategy of selling merchandise inspired by its brand. After the livestreamed event, Mucinex's collection will be available for sale on a microsite until it sells out. This strategy will help Mucinex collect more information about its consumers without using a separate retailer.
The effort positions the brand as more than a cough medicine, and as a holistic approach to self-care as cold and flu season begins. The coronavirus pandemic has heightened the importance of that theme, with many people seeking to make their homes more comfortable while in quarantine. Mucinex worked with designers to customize the capsule collection with specific features for people recovering from a cold.
By collaborating with YouTube personalities on the livestream, Mucinex can extend the reach of its DTC effort among their followers. Chriselle Lim, Drew Scott, Nava Rose, Daniella Perkins and Jacques Slade represent a racially and ethnically diverse group of fashion and lifestyle influencers who collectively have millions of subscribers to their YouTube channels, and more followers on other social media platforms. Mucinex also can cut through the ad clutter with its influencer marketing effort and reach younger consumers who have shown enthusiasm for branded merchandise.
Influencer marketing resonates with that demographic group, with almost almost half (44%) of Generation Z consumers saying they have made a purchase decision based on a recommendation from a social influencer, compared with 26% of the general population, according to researcher Kantar. Influencer marketing increasingly is tied to the diversity and inclusion efforts by brands following last summer's global protests against racism and inequality. More than a third (36%) of influencer-following consumers said they had followed a more diverse group of influencers than they did before the protests, according to a survey by coupon marketer Valassis.
Mucinex typically ramps up its promotional efforts during cold and flu season, as seen with its branded hashtag challenges on social video app TikTok. The brand promoted its newly introduced Mucinex Nightshift with a dance challenge that asked people to create their own version of a "zombie dance" reflecting how they felt while having a cold. The zombie dance challenge followed its Halloween-themed #TooSickToBeSick effort from last year that asked people to share their "before and after" looks while getting into costume. During the onset of the pandemic, Mucinex changed the tone of its advertising with an Instagram series urging people to practice "boring" behaviors like staying home as a way of helping frontline workers.
Mucinex joins brands including Dunkin', Bud Light, Sprite, Popeyes and General Mills in releasing branded merchandise to reach consumers by capitalizing on the apparel trends. These efforts allow brands to tap into culture and become more relevant with consumers.