Clock icon 9 min read Calendar icon Dec 13, 2023

OTC Pharma Marketing: 4 Strategies for Allergy Season Campaigns

There are a variety of factors changing the OTC pharma market and these impact how manufacturers can reach their potential customers. 

One factor is that millennials (as well as members of other generations) are increasingly going online to do research and to manage their health. In fact, according to one recent study, 55% of millennials believe online health information is as reliable as information that they get from their doctors. A second factor is the rising tide of ‘wellness’ consciousness amongst millennials - they think of holistic health and have a greater focus on clean living and illness prevention than previous generations.  

Another factor changing the OTC pharma market is that, with rising inflation, many consumers are more cost-conscious than in the past - leaving them reaching for generics or cheaper alternatives. Lastly, OTC shoppers are paying more attention to labels and the ingredients. Natural, organic, gluten-free, GMO-free or “no artificial colors or flavors” are some of the things that shoppers are looking for. 

Many people suffer from allergies year-round, or at various times, depending on region or allergy type. With that said, Spring is often considered “allergy season” and this is when a large number of people look for options for allergy relief. According to the CDC, ~26% of adults have a seasonal allergy and per the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, almost one in five children (18.9%) have a seasonal allergy. 

With the changes impacting OTC pharma marketing, how will your brand reach consumers now, as well as during peak allergy season? Below, we offer 6 marketing tips with OTC pharma campaign examples for your brand to consider. 

1) Focus First on Useful Content

As mentioned in the lead-in, people seek out information online. They want to be educated and informed and are not satisfied to wait for a doctor’s appointment - they want it now. Become a trusted source of valuable information that helps answer their questions and provides a pathway to solving their issue or easing their discomfort during allergy season (or year-round as needed)! Consider knowledge hubs, infographics, interactive tools, videos, social content, studies, white papers or other media types.


Sudocrem, one of the UK’s top baby brands, runs one of the most popular and influential parenting blogs in the world. Every month, its diverse content engages 1.1 million people on Facebook, 1.4 million on Twitter, and over 250,000 on YouTube.


Novartis publishes high-quality reports from freelance writers and internal contributors on topics ranging from curing leukemia to how giraffes stay alive with high blood pressure. Over the years, this platform has become vital for driving its reputation and telling the company’s story. 

2) Run Both Seasonal & Continuity Campaigns

Although allergy campaigns may be more tied to the Spring, it’s important to also consider activations at other times as allergy symptoms can be year-round and it’s an effective way to stay top of mind and develop brand loyalty. Consider running contests, sweepstakes or promotions as one way to generate excitement as you promote via owned properties and social media (see more about that below). 


Iovate needed a way to foster trial and affiliation with its Hydroxycut weight loss product. Snipp created a continuity rewards program that allowed consumers to earn coupons off their first three purchases, a process they could repeat for ongoing savings. 


GSK partnered with obé Fitness to promote awareness for Centrum vitamins as an essential part of a New Year Wellness program. GSK leveraged Snipp’s turnkey promotions platform to convert consumers from an extensive omni-channel media program with an offer two free months of online fitness classes with the purchase of any Centrum vitamins. 

3) Build Your Social Strategy  

People are using social media for content discovery and to get information from their networks. Make sure your OTC pharma marketing strategy includes social media. And don’t just dip your toes in, social media is a long game where consistency is key. Tie social posting to the content and influencer strategies mentioned above. 


Allergan dove into social media to promote its dry-eye relief product, Restasis, with a Facebook digital campaign. The campaign featured  patient testimonial videos and interactive quizzes that encouraged users to test their dry eye levels. Incorporating immediate social analytics, Allergan offered discount coupons to interested users. The campaign generated 35 million impressions and resulted in a 10.5% lift in ad recall 

Flonase Logo

Flonase leveraged Snipp's solutions to help bring a program to market where customers customize an Allergy Monster based on their unique allergies and symptoms. We supported Flonase with two solutions to help power this promotion - a receipt API with and Shoppable to collect customer data, as well as receipt validation to help determine the grand Sweepstakes prize winner and other prizes. Consumers get a valid sweeps entry every time they submit an order on via Shoppable. In addition, after consumers create their Monster, they could share it on Social in augmented reality!  Learn more about this campaign.

Take customer acquisition to the next level with our modular Snipp CARE  (Customer Acquisition, Retention, and Engagement) Platform. Contact us to  learn more.


4) Work with Influencers Who Have Established Connections

In OTC pharma, people may be less receptive to advertising, so that’s where influencers can help. Connect with larger scale influencers or even more niche influencers that are well-aligned to your brand’s values to help get your message out, to disseminate your content and to build awareness. 

Flonase Logo

Flonase relied on a set of influencers — chosen due to their impressive social media followings — to form its “Eh Bee” family campaign. Flonase sent them on “The Greater American Road Trip,” asking them to chronicle their adventures in popular destinations with high pollen counts on their website and social media. Flonase even added a sweepstakes element as part of the promotion to boost engagement. The campaign, which lasted two weeks, generated more than 1 million views, 1.3 billion impressions, and $100 million in sales during the first 16 weeks after launch. 

5) Don’t Forget Mobile Marketing & Content Strategies 

34% of shoppers use their smartphones in-store for price comparisons or to learn about products. OTC brands have a ways to go in terms of embracing mobile for things such as mobile-optimized sites, mobile coupons, diagnostic apps/tools, filtering based on symptoms or other features to help users find the right products or information. 


Poise® Brand Launches New Bladder Leakage Line Empowering Women to Stay  Active Without Interruption | Kimberly-Clark Corporation - Poise distinguishes itself among its counterparts by offering an array of useful online content, such as FAQs, video testimonials, articles, podcasts, and live chat options.


Zyrtec offers an AllergyCast mobile app that auto-detects a user’s location and provides a localized pollen forecast and allergy management tips. 

6) Connect with Health Apps or Wearable Tech 

36% of US smartphone owners and 25% of UK smartphone owners use health & fitness apps. OTC brands can partner with, advertise in, or sponsor these apps to get closer to fitness app users. Usage of these apps will only grow, so consider health apps or wearable tech as part of both your short and long term OTC pharma marketing strategies. 


GlaxoSmithKline and Propeller Health have a ‘smart inhaler’ for drug adherence that also detects  usage, location, and surrounding air quality, to track potential asthma attack triggers 

Give Your OTC Pharma Marketing Strategy a Boost

Both at peak allergy season and year-round, there are a variety of ways to connect with potential customers. We’ve offered a few important ones above. To brainstorm with a campaign and promotions expert, contact us here! Also, read our full Guide to OTC Pharma Industry Trends and Strategies