Motrin keeps pain game rolling

The My Game My Pain campaign has been successful enough in year two to quadruple previous response and generate viral excitement among Canadian students. So now it's targeting alumni. And next, corporate Canada.

Chris Cook, client manager with the Toronto- and Vancouver-based Inventa marketing agency, says last year’s inaugural Motrin IB My Game My Pain – a nationwide online search for Canada’s next great game – was deemed a success, but it pales in comparison to what’s happening in year two.

With the Motrin IB brand of Markham, Ont.-based McNeil Consumer Healthcare (part of Johnson & Johnson Canada) as the client, and Inventaworld handling all aspects of the contest, last year’s effort attracted about 250,000 hits on the campaign’s microsite. That’s where wags from Canadian colleges and universities posted goofy, highly irreverent videos depicting their nominations for best new game. Halifax’s Dalhousie U won for a concept they called Ice Dodgeball and walked away with $2,500.

For this year’s contest, which just concluded, the hits more than quadrupled, partly because of spiraling viral fame on YouTube, Facebook and MySpace. There was also what Cook calls a ‘multi-prong attack’ that included 30-second cinema spots and bathroom ads in campuses across the country. Brand ambassadors were deployed on eight major campuses to promote the contest and distribute Motrin IB samples. The game was also featured and promo-d on Sportsnet. As well, sports sponsorships were given to the Canadian Beach Dodgeball Championship, HSBC Triathlon Series, Fly Girls mountain biking team, and Telus Ski & Snowboard Festival in Whistler, BC.

The winner for year two of the contest was announced late last week and, once again, Dalhousie took top honours. This time around, it was for Borden Ball, a combo of rugby and handball for wheelchair athletes. The $2,500 prize is going toward the purchase of sports wheelchairs.

Cook says so much enthusiasm has been generated by student participation that the client instructed Inventaworld to extend the contest by challenging first university alumni, and then Canadian corporations, to come up with games. The winners will receive $10,000 each for donation to charities.