Please login to the form below

Not currently logged in

Untying the knots

Raising awareness and treatment of nocturnal muscle cramps

Nocturnal muscle cramp occurs when there is a sudden contraction or spasm of the muscle. The condition causes distress to over 13 million people in the UK but is ignored by many sufferers who are not aware of the treatments available.

Crampex is the only over-the-counter treatment available for the treatment of nocturnal cramps and is a safe and effective alternative to Quinine tablets available on prescription.

A creative PR campaign was required to make the potentially 'dry' subject interesting, to drive the issue of nocturnal cramp onto the media agenda, and to encourage product trial among regular nocturnal cramp sufferers.

Consumers and key health media were targeted with a multifaceted awareness campaign.

• Raise awareness of Crampex as the only product available for the treatment and prevention of nocturnal muscle cramp without prescription
• Raise awareness of the prevalence of night cramp as a health condition
• Encourage sufferers to take action and not just put up with the condition
• Encourage consumer trial of product and fuel pharmacy recommendation.



Crampex packaging

Crampex is the only OTC treatment for nocturnal cramps


1. Lawn Bowls sponsorship
Cramp affects people of all ages, but is particularly common in people over 50, with statistics showing that 70 per cent of this age group suffer with night cramps. For this reason, The English Bowls Association (EBA) was identified as a potential vocal group of consumers to target.

Two major summer events in the EBA calendar were chosen for Crampex sponsorship. 2,400 EBA clubs distributed leaflets, case study request forms and Crampex branded 'warm-up before bowls' posters to their members prior to the event finals. The event sponsorships were used to generate media coverage and create brand ambassadors among the 200,000 plus members.

High brand presence at the event finals, including a Crampex masseuse and initiatives throughout the season including the Crampex EBA Club of the Year Award helped drive word-of-mouth endorsements throughout the lawn bowls community.
All the finalists and winning teams helped to generate branded media coverage in regional and national newspapers.

2. Sleep Disturbance media campaign
November was registered and established by Crampex as Sleep Disturbance Month and used as a news hook to generate media coverage incorporating nocturnal cramp key messages.

To bolster the media relations activity, a consumer sleep survey was conducted among 4,000 British adults to generate newsworthy statistics for the national press. A national sleep map was developed using the results providing a creative image to accompany the survey press coverage.

Influential media medic and sleep expert Dr Chris Idzikowski of the Edinburgh Sleep Centre was recruited to front the campaign, add credibility and act as a media spokesperson. He provided advice and tips for the Crampex branded site and a Goodnight Guide consumer leaflet. The leaflet was distributed to 3,000+ surgeries nationwide.

3. Media medics and cramp
National newspaper and magazine media medics and health editors were targeted to raise awareness of nocturnal cramp and its treatment. A fact sheet on the treatment of nocturnal cramp was syndicated offering Crampex as the only OTC treatment available without prescription and as an alternative treatment to Quinine without the side effects.

4. Case study recruitment
Consumer marketing research shows that once tried, consumers stay loyal to Crampex. To encourage this, product fans and sleep deprivation case studies were recruited to act as case histories and placed in key media to encourage others to trial. These demonstrated product efficacy and the positive impact the product can have on general wellbeing by facilitating a good night's sleep.

5. Pharmacy campaign
Regular editorial stories about the prevalence of nocturnal cramp were placed in key trade pharmacy titles such as Training Matters and competitions were set up for pharmacies to win water coolers. The nature of the competition entry mechanic acted as a training tool in itself offering treatment tips and advice.

In addition, an educational cramp radio programme was produced exclusively for staff at Lloyds Pharmacies nationwide.

• 194 items of media coverage
• 356,104,293 opportunities to see created
• £1,027,718 PR value of coverage
• Websites hits have tripled since the start of the campaign and
• 3,652 requests for a free cramp advice leaflet have been received to date
• Significant rise in product sales (+38%)

"Getting nocturnal cramp as a subject matter onto the consumer and media agenda was key to the success of the campaign. We were, and continue to be, impressed with Pegasus' level of creativity and ability to turn ideas into outcomes and the brand has really benefited from PR support. They managed to turn what is essentially a very dry subject matter into an interesting and engaging campaign."
Ed Round, Group Product Manager, Thornton & Ross Ltd. 

"The leg massages were a particular highlight – a fantastic idea which engaged players and spectators alike and appointments were booked up in minutes!"
EWBA President.


Case study details

Client: Thornton & Ross Ltd
Agency: Pegasus Public Relations 
Campaign: Crampex: Don't Let Cramp Tie You Up in Knots
Timescale: April 2007 to April 2009

29th October 2009


Subscribe to our email news alerts

Featured jobs


Add my company
Merrill Brink International

Merrill Brink International is a leading provider of life sciences, legal, financial, manufacturing and corporate language solutions for global companies....

Latest intelligence

Pharma’s vital role in sustainability and corporate social responsibility
Pharma is in the spotlight as tough questions about sustainability commitments continue to arise...
Infographic: Therapy Watch Hyperlipidaemia
Our latest infographic offers an introduction to the real-world insights collected by our Hyperlipidaemia study....
Article: The rise of the healthcare influencer
In our latest article for Pharmaphorum Deep Dive, we explore the opportunities and benefits for healthcare companies in the online influencer space....