2017 seems to be a year of major change for many brands in terms of marketing strategy. Two brands in particular, Advil and President’s Choice, have recently revamped their respective focuses for new advertising campaigns. What is most interesting about these two brands is that their focus changes seem to be opposite to one another. In Advil’s new campaign, the painkiller brand places importance on the strength of its Cold & Sinus product, while President’s Choice instead aims to take the spotlight away from its line of products, shifting to the idea that food brings families together.

The Advil Cold & Sinus shift came after research performed by the brand’s creative agency Taxi showed consumers were becoming tired of the typical painkiller commercials shown by every major brand – a person who looks sick takes a pill, wakes up to sunshine the following morning and then enjoys a new day of total health. A need to push away from this standard message is what led to Advil’s new dream-like campaign that equates a dose of Advil Cold & Sinus to a bodybuilder capable of arm-wrestling an ogre, crushing a coconut with one hand, and creating balloon animals out of steel beams.


Making this change not only separates Advil from its competitors, it targets its existing customers in a new way and opens the door for a new audience to emerge. This campaign in particular, made up of short 15-second clips, has been created for online viewing. The quick and colourful ad, mixed with its creative humour, is attractive to those browsing the internet who may have glanced past an old Advil commercial without thought.

President’s Choice has leveraged the Canada 150 celebration in the re-focusing of its new campaign. The advertisement and social campaign, titled #EatTogether, features a woman who notices the people all around her are too consumed with their smartphones to engage in real life conversations. She sees a solution in setting up a dinner table in the hallway of her apartment building, inviting neighbours to join her. While food – surely from the President’s Choice brand – is shown along the table, it isn’t the focal point of the video. The message is simple: “Nothing brings us together like eating together.”


Traditionally, President’s Choice focuses on food innovation and showcasing flavours from around the world in their many different products. While this advertisement takes the focus away from the physical product, it still does a good job of maintaining the image of multiculturalism and variety of foods through its casting.

President’s Choice plans on celebrating Canada 150 using a number of different activations throughout the upcoming months, with this campaign as its kick-start.