Cold sores are an all-too common blemish that can undermine a person’s self-esteem and confidence, but Abreva is taking a fashionable approach to changing that perception.
The cold sore cream brand from Haleon announced Tuesday that it is holding a sweepstakes for a one-of-a-kind set of 16 carat diamond lips featuring a single ruby to signify the cold sore experience.
From now until the end of the month, the brand is encouraging consumers to enter for a chance to win the glamorous fashion piece in addition to Abreva Cold Sore Cream and its Raid Pain Relief product. Twenty-five first prize winners will also receive sterling silver lip necklaces that feature a single gemstone.
While the lips were created by New York-based Verstolo Fine Jewelry, social media played a part in fostering the idea. In a press release announcing the item, Abreva attributed part of its inspiration to TikTok influencer Eva Larosa’s viral lip makeup trend.
While many may not know it, most Americans have oral herpes — which is a common infection of the mouth area that can present as a cold sore or fever blister. Though they heal within a few weeks without leaving a physical scar, the embarrassment that comes with having a cold sore can linger for people.
“Abreva understands the emotional and physical impact of cold sores, and is committed to changing the narrative among young cold sore sufferers — the spark of which starts with a little sparkle,” said Lauren Smith, global marketing director at Haleon, in a statement. “The diamond lips are a physical manifestation of the bold confidence and individuality Abreva aims to inspire when dealing with a cold sore – an experience made easier with the help of Abreva’s relief-providing solutions.”
As a non-prescription ingredient approved by the Food and Drug Administration, Abreva has taken unique approaches to its marketing in an effort to humanize cold sores.
In 2022, the brand drafted fashion designer and then-Real Housewives of New York star Leah McSweeney for its Confident B#@%! with a Cold Sore campaign. McSweeney posted videos on social media showing how to go through daily activities with a cold sore – all with her unapologetic, humorous tone.
Kavita Ramachandran, brand manager at Haleon, told MM+M at the time that the campaign’s goal was to help first-time or newer cold sore sufferers navigate the experience and feel uplifted rather than ashamed and isolated.
“[Cold sores] shouldn’t hold you back from living your life confidently, out loud and doing the things that you love,” she said.