Brufen Effect


October 2016


Health, Beauty and Fashion


Indoor Kreativac 2016
Ideja X 2017
Effie 2018

We’ve all seen that classic TV ad for painkillers – you see someone doing a daily activity they normally love, when a sudden expression of pain appears on their face, telling us the fun’s over. The next thing you know – you’re watching some red pulsating dots on a generic silhouette. Does it really have to look like that?

The weak spot of painkiller ads

The market is crammed with different brands of painkillers and standing out is not easy. Consumers are attached to “their own” painkiller; they like to use what they’re used to and switching to a different brand isn’t likely to happen. Despite the awareness of the Brufen brand, sales were not increasing. 

How to stand out among 28 brands of pain medication?

What’s needed is a campaign which clearly communicates the advantages of Brufen Effect but stands apart from the usual, run-of-the-mill pharmaceutical ads that show the location of the pain and go on to describe the feeling. Consumers know what the problem is – they need a solution. What caught our attention in the focus groups is that the main criteria for taking pain medication is the degree of pain the consumer is willing to endure. 

“I’m sticking it out as long as I can.”
“I only take medication when there’s no other way out.”
“I try to get through it without popping a pill.”  

Why are we torturing ourselves?

It’s quite clear that when we’re in pain, we try to ignore it. We suffer and wait for it to pass. Why are we torturing ourselves when a solution lies at our fingertips?

We’ve carried the TV spot idea over to other campaign materials and kept “torturing” the consumers via radio and YouTube pre-roll ads, and showing how fast Bruffen Effect kicks in on a series of posters.  

Results through the (b)roof

Awarded gold for creativity at IdejaX 2017, gold for effectiveness at the Effie Awards 2018 and, most importantly, awarded with consumers’ trust: Brufen Effect achieved a market share of 12.5% and jumped up to second place on the very competitive OTC ibuprofen market.  



Vanja Blumenšajn ~ Very Creative Director, Copywriter | Jurica Ćorluka ~ Creative Director, Copywriter | Vinko Čuljak ~ Designer | Iva Kaligarić ~ Strategic Director | Nina Trumbić ~ Account Executive


Miša Terzić ~ Director | Aleksandar Ilić ~ Director of Photography | Ana Šepić Šolaja ~ Producer (Centralna jedinica) | Katarina Bobić ~ Producer (Centralna jedinica) | Mia Gvozdić Michl ~ Producer (Centralna jedinica) | Ana Buljan ~ Production Designer | Damir Žižić ~ Photographer


Ines Graf Jovičin ~ Product Manager | Goran Jaković ~ Marketing Manager | Karol Skoczylas ~ OTC Europe Manager

Once upon a time, in a shoddy castle not so far away there was a wrecked basement waiting to be remodelled as a dungeon for a horror story. And yes, the smoke from the torches almost killed us.

Ana Buljan - Scenographer

Writing a statement for this project was a real struggle, so I remembered the insight from the commercial and decided to use this meta approach to stop torturing myself. I was instantly relieved!

Jurica Ćorluka - Creative Director