GlaxoSmithKline and Weber Shandwick

Tums or Dare

Tums was eager to maintain its position as a category leader, especially among millennials. Often, this group — well known for its adventurous eating habits — was getting to know heartburn for the very first time.

Rather than treat it as a minor health problem, the team repositioned heartburn as a badge of honor, introducing the Tums or Dare challenge in a way young people (and spice lovers of all ages) couldn’t resist.

Having introduced the Tums Chewy Bites formulation back in 2017, it was already changing perceptions that Tums was something people needed as they got older. The next iteration was the launch of new

Tums Chewy Bites with Cooling Sensation, a flavor that allowed the brand to leverage millennial-relevant trends around heartburn-inducing spicy foods. 

Some 60% of millennials identify themselves as “total heat-seekers,” and 62% describe themselves as “adventurous eaters,” compared to 54% of U.S. adults. To reach them, the team leaned on digital channels, including social content on Facebook and Instagram and influencer partnerships. And it partnered with Complex as the official Season 9 sponsor of Hot Ones, an interview-format show where celebrity guests endure eating a flight of wings of increasing spiciness.

The campaign contributed to a 25% increase in overall Tums sales, with hundreds participating in a Tums or Dare activation. The Complex partnership also led to 2.88 billion earned media impressions.

“Just a great ride,” says one of our judges. “And they owned the problem in such an enticing way. That’s hard to do. And it made Tums fun again.”

Sponsor: Healio