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Fisherman's Friend dishes out some tough love

Lozenge brand urges men to suck it up this cold season

Fisherman’s Friend is encouraging Canadians to suck it up and dig deep this cold and flu season with a new spot that pushes grit and toughness.

The effort represents a new positioning for the throat lozenge brand, one that harkens back to the product’s roots.

Fisherman’s Friend was developed  by pharmacist James Lofthouse in 1865 to relieve the respiratory issues experienced by fishermen working in the extreme conditions of the North Atlantic.

“Fisherman’s Friend is known for its strong taste, great heritage and efficacy,” Alanna Nathanson, partner and creative director at ad agency Giants & Gentlemen, told Canadian Grocer's sister publication Marketing.

“Recently the communication has been more targeted to driving female adoption and launching new flavours. In discussions with Giants & Gentleman, Fisherman’s Friend agreed to return to building its core positioning,”Nathanson said.

A 30-second TV spot, which introduces the brand’s new  “Suck it Up” tagline, is running nationally in both English and French, and focuses on the recently-launched honey lemon flavour.

The ad features tough men from the past, who despite having a cold, still managed to sword fight, bare-knuckle brawl, and fight bears. The spot ends with a shot of a sick, miserable, modern man in bed, while the voiceover urges him to “suck it up.”

The effort is aimed at adults 25 to 45, and those who possess “a masculine attitude,” Nathanson added. It runs until the end of March.

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