Icy Hot

Brand Repositioning

The Situation

Icy Hot was in a category characterized by elderly arthritic women. A “can’t do” market segment that was declining as the target aged. So the brand got to thinking, “Why are we in a knitting circle when we should be in a locker room?”

What We Did

KWG and Icy Hot developed a multi-angled attack to speak to a much broader, more active audience. Icy Hot launched product extensions such as patches, rolls and sprays to appeal to a more active lifestyle, and active sports related messages to match. Relevant spokespeople like Shaq were selected to deliver the product story. To get the message out, we developed a unique and cost-effective media strategy that stood apart−reaching this target with relevance and frequency, day in day out, nearly every week of the year, for years.


It wasn’t a surprise that Icy Hot’s new strategy heated up sales.  It actually tripled the size of the brand, besting the established category leader with half their spending.  Since then, retail sets have expanded and the category, led by Icy Hot, has grown double digits year over year for over a decade.