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Meet Mr. Mucus

Another new product to hit the shelves this cough and cold season is children's Mucinex Mini-Melts expectorant from Adams Respiratory Therapeutics, Chester, NJ. The Mini-Melts come in two flavors, in both junior strength and children's strength. Each carton consists of 12 premeasured doses of granules packaged in foil pouches that you tear open and sprinkle on the tongue.

Unlike other products new to the market this season, Adams Respiratory Therapeutics uses its own cartoon character, Mr. Mucus, to help sell the product. In fact, this is the first time Mr. Mucus is featured on the company's packaging. Adams has also introduced a new character, Jr. Mucus, the offspring of Mr. Mucus, to update the package.

Character creates brand awareness

Rather than license a cartoon character for a character's sake, Adams found a creative means of bringing the problem of excess mucus to life. "From the launch of our advertising in 2004, Mr. Mucus has become a real icon for the brand and immediately connotes the problem that Mucinex solves," says M'lou Arnett, senior VP of marketing.

Arnett expresses concerns about licensing a character simply to grab the attention of the child. "The parent's going to make the final decision based on symptom relief as well as the taste and willingness of the child to take the product. Awareness levels [of Mr. Mucus] are high with our adult business. We felt this was a good way for moms to recognize Mr. Mucus and associate him with the Mucinex brand and the relief Mucinex has brought to the adult market."

The Mini-Melts carton shows Mr. Mucus sliding down the granules and being swept away. "This was a completely new product form and new to the category," says Arnett. "It was important to communicate this new delivery form as clearly as we could and then demonstrate visually that Mr. Mucus is being swept away with these granules."
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