Sanofi knew it needed an especially memorable way to introduce Xyzal, an over-the-counter allergy medication.

Despite the category being a crowded one, this challenger brand had a truly differentiated offer based on research. While allergy symptoms often make nighttime miserable, none of its competitors talked about it.

Xyzal, specially designed to be taken at night, solves that problem. But a bedtime medication meant selling consumers on a new method of taking their allergy medication. Aimed at sufferers 35 and older, Sanofi and agency PureRED created Nigel the Owl, an animated character who cheerfully explains how Xyzal can lead to better sleep — and more productive days.

Promoting the behavior change of taking Xyzal at night versus taking an allergy pill in the morning, the campaign combines the engagement and entertainment of Nigel with compelling facts about allergies. And it uses a classic bedtime story to link the drug to more productive days. The book serves as a persuasive storytelling device that simplifies this new behavior.

The campaign, which kicked off last year with two spots, has increased brand sales by 40% year over year. 

Nigel’s British-accent-delivered wisdom propelled the Goodnight Allergies spot to the top 1% in advertising effectiveness in the ASI database. A second execution scored in the top 10%.

MM+M judges love the way the nocturnal bird helps explain a novel change. “This is a great way to own the nighttime dosage strategy,” says one. “And in a tough category, this is fantastic in its simplicity and messaging pull-through.”