APP: GSK Breathe Right Snore App

Case Study

Agency: Grey Canada
My Project Role: Lead Art Direction/Associate Creative Director

Awarded a Silver “Message meets the medium” Cassie.

Breathe Right Nasal Strips are an adhesive strip that affixes to your nose, improving airflow through your nostrils. Previously marketed as a sports aid and nasal congestion reliever, one of its most persuasive product benefits is how it helps eliminate snoring.

Snoring robs sleep starved bed mates of a good night’s sleep but 42% of all snoring Canadians deny they have the affliction. Breathe Right must unequivocally prove that those in denial have a problem, give their partners help opening the discussion and put a solution in their hands. So we created a tool to help them, the SleepWise App.

How it worked:

The Breathe Right SleepWise app was designed to enlighten a snorer, to build empathy and support for their bedmate (the snoring “victim”), and finally give the bed mate real, tangible proof to their snore-denying partner.

Launched in Western Canada, we recruited beta testers to be the first to try out the SleepWise application. Users could upload personal data, record the quality of their sleep and discover if their snore decibels were louder than a chainsaw, or a pack of wild hyenas.  Data captured would identify sleep interruptions, peaks snores and a “zzz rating”.   After collecting snore data, users opted-in for a free trial pack of Breathe Right strips so that they could repeat the record of their sleep, this time while wearing a Breathe Right Nasal Strip.  It was this piece of product utility, a medium in and of itself, and it’s data that became the message that fuelled additional content in other media choices such as digital banners, SMS messaging and radio.

To drive awareness of the iOS-based app, we began a campaign to incite consumers to download the tool to try it out for themselves. First using select snoring data captured from the app’s initial beta test, we created radio ads that “called out” snore deniers once and for all.  As the campaign progressed, localized versions were created featuring snore deniers from the test market vicinity.  From there we embedded the identity and unique snore sounds of our local market snorers in more radio, banner ads, and direct SMS advertising.

Radio Spots: (Copy Writer: James Ansley)

Radio ads ran during morning and evening drive time speaking directly to consumers who downloaded and used the app, with banner ads on favourited websites at key surfing periods, and SMS texts pushed directly to the user’s phone.  App users were able to determine which medium was most appropriate for the snorers in their life (or their own), and it was direct marketed through media channels never used by the brand before.

:30 Second PreRoll Spot

Additional digital pre-roll rounded out the media selection that showcased a couple struggling with snorer denial and encouraged consumers to visit the website upload the app to end the debate once and for all.  All of these new elements accompanied the globally created television that was a mandated support component.


To get a true sense of the results of this program, we directly measured the program in Western Canada test markets vs. whole of Canada. The data tells the story of how the west was won:

  • Retail dollar volume +7% vs. Rest of Canada
  • Retail Dollar share +0.3 pts. vs. rest of Canada
  • Retail Unit volume +6% vs. Rest of Canada
  • Retail unit share +0.2 pts. vs. Rest of Canada

Aside from the in-market success, the campaign has been awarded significant industry accolade having won a Radio Bronze Pencil in The One Show, a Gold MIA for Media Innovation, shortlisted in Radio at Cannes, A Silver and Gold CMA for Direct Engagement and Experiential & Innovative Media, and a Marketing Award in Digital and Mobile.

Ultimately, this kind of brand engagement had not been seen in some time for the brand.  By embracing a new piece of product utility and the data it offered, GSK Canada, as an organization, had been enlightened to the opportunity to create locally relevant messaging that could augment and improve global campaign elements.