Midol had been planning a Girls Night event this month in Manhattan to show off its new packaging before, like virtually every person and brand, it was forced to rethink its plans because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Yet instead of rescheduling, the Bayer-owned menstrual pain medication brand did what people all over the world are doing and turned its Girls Night into a Girls Night In.
The April 30 event is part of Midol’s M-Powered campaign, showing off its colorful, rebranded product packaging and putting a “forward face” on the brand, said Denise Vitola, Bayer VP of consumer health communications for North America. The campaign includes digital, social, paid search, influencer partnerships, social advertising and a collaboration with Refinery29.
“We want to evolve from where we have been in the past to a modern brand that is relevant and useful to the new woman,” said Vitola.
She explained that Midol had been planning for months to hold an event for editors and influencers “in a beautiful space, centrally located in Manhattan.” Invite-only attendees would have been able to go to a meditation room for yoga or visit a pampering area while enjoying food and drinks to celebrate Midol’s refresh.
“We were looking forward to having that one-on-one activity with the editors and influencers,” Vitola said.
When Bayer closed its New Jersey headquarters on March 9 in response to the coronavirus, Vitola and her team “had a lot of hope” that remote working would only last a few weeks and planned events would proceed as planned.
“We kept having conversations about having our events,” she said. But then New York shut down, and Midol PR partner Lippe Taylor had conversations with members of the media about whether an event would be viable. After talking with guests and the venue, the teams quickly realized the April Night Out would not be possible.
“We wanted to be very careful of other people’s feelings,” said Vitola. “This is a very unprecedented time, and we didn’t want to add anything to the current crisis situation. We wanted to be empathetic to that.”
Zoom quickly came to mind as an alternative place to host the event, allowing for the “essence of the idea” to stay intact, Vitola said.
“We will still have our meditation person to kick things off; we will have different inspirational conversations, introduce the rebrand and messaging behind that and a gynecologist who can speak on behalf of Midol,” she said.
The brand has emailed invitations to lifestyle media, women’s books, online magazines and influencers and has sent a Midol care package to attendees containing relaxing clothes, slippers, an eye mask and nail polish. Attendees will also be able to order food during the event through Postmates.
“Whatever we were going to serve, we are sending to them so they are ready and prepared to have fun with us,” said Vitola.
Budget information was not disclosed, but Vitola noted that media events are “quite costly.”
“What I want to find out from this is if this is effective, does this open another area for executing events in the future?” she said.
Keri Madonna, VP of media at Lippe Taylor, said that she realized there are many positive aspects to hosting a virtual activation, noting that many in-person events are created with a “New York-centric state of mind.”
“This has given us the opportunity to allow other media across the country to be a part of our event,” she said. “We were able to reach more people. Moving forward, if we are doing an event, we will look at what virtual components we can add in to ensure that if someone is in a different state they can have the experience as well.”