The Anacin fast relief advertising campaign certainly was one of the most successful, though somewhat controversial advertising campaigns of the 50s of the last century. The campaign was created for the brand by the Ted Bates & Co advertising agency. Its main fast, fast, fast relief advertising jingle even entered the common speech lexicon of that time. The Anacin fast relief was a very extensive advertising campaign and according to its creator Rosser Reeves, Anacin invested over eighty six million four hundred thousand dollars running his advertisement in media. In addition, the creation of the advert cost the company over eight thousand dollars to produce.
The main controversies of the Anacin fast relief advertising campaign laid in the lack by this product of any significant advantages over the aspirin or aspirin based products of the same sort. Thus, we can say that the Anacin fast relief advertising campaign created and totally based on the Reeves' Unique Selling Proposition concept, became its major competitive advantage, which, in fact, made this product very popular. The main idea of the Reeves' Unique Selling Proposition lay in his view on advertising. Here is his point of view on what kind of services many of his advertising clients are looking for to obtain from advertising agencies and a metaphor he used to describe his ideas: a person comes to him with two new and completely identical dollar bills and demands from him to prove that one of these dollar bills is better than the other one, based only on the fact that one of them belongs to the client, when the other one does not. According to Reeves, many of the brands and products do not possess any major advantages over their market competitor and are very identical, which it was exactly the case with the Anacin product. Therefore, such advantage had to be invented and embodied in product's or brand's advertising campaign in the form of a strong and appealing selling proposition.
That is how Reeves came up with his Anacin fast relief advertising campaign, as the only distinction of Anacin from aspirin is that this pain reliever contains some thirty two mg of caffeine, which is used to speed up the alleviation of pain. However, certainly, such distinction cannot significantly contribute to creating a major and unique product selling proposition. That is the reason why Reeves positioned Anacin as a 'tension headache' pain reliever. Here is the main slogan and advertising line of the Anacin fast relief advertising campaign "Anacin of the four leading headache remedies has special ingredients to relieve the pain fast, help overcome a depression fast, relax a tension fast. Three out of four doctors recommend the ingredients in Anacin." As you may see, this advert does not say that Anacin has any different from aspirin ingredients and that Anacin is a remedy, recommended by the doctors. All it really says that the main ingredient of Anacin, which is aspirin, is the most recommended pain reliever. That is where the controversy lies. Some people consider such advertising approach as fabricating of the USP, while the others believe it to be quite an acceptable advertising trick. After all, it worked well with Anacin and it is only up to you to decide how good or bad it is.