This Story Is 'Easy To Swallow': Tylenol Launches Brand Extension


Tylenol Easy to Swallow, a technologically driven brand expansion of the venerable pain reliever, broke its first ad campaign Monday via TikTok, Snap, Meta, Amazon OTT, HBO Max, and Roku digital video.

The new pill-coating technology, called Gentleglide, comes from parent company Kenvue, with Tylenol being the first -- and so far, only -- brand to use it. 

Tylenol Easy to Swallow is rolling out this month at Target, Amazon and CVS, with national retail distribution set for June.

The brand’s ads, from Doner, stress that the pills “slide down fast and easy for smooth swallowing” and that Tylenol is now both “extra strong on pain and extra easy to swallow.”

Tylenol describes Gentleglide as a pill coating activated by water that reduces friction when swallowing.

The new pills combine a sweetening agent with a hydrophilic coating to provide “a pleasant swallowing experience,” Jennifer Gow, Kenvue’s head of commercial pain, tells Marketing Daily.



And that could well help Tylenol capture a perhaps surprisingly large number of Americans who dislike taking pills or have trouble swallowing them.

“Nearly one in five people who have taken oral medications have hesitated prior to taking pills because they thought they might have trouble swallowing them,with 14% sharing they have delayed taking a dose of their medication due to swallowing hesitations,” Gow reveals.

Tylenol Easy to Swallow, she says, “addresses four primary attributes that consumers value when considering swallowability: shape, size, taste and coating.”

Tylenol has long known about the swallowability issue, with Gow stating that focus groups and consumer tests find it “at the forefront of consumers’ minds when discussing OTC medications.”

She cites one focus group that investigated consumer routines when taking solid pills, in which “consumers shared they look for coated pill options as the coating makes the pill easier to swallow and eliminates an unpleasant aftertaste and chalky texture.

“We knew there was an unmet consumer need and we set out to create a new innovative product to solve it,” Gow explains. “We began optimizing an Extra Strength Tylenol tablet to address that consumer insight.”

In addition to consumer advertising, Tylenol is driving awareness of the Easy to Swallow pills with healthcare providers through both face-to-face interactions and digital channels,” Gow says, adding, “Our education will be focused on the technology as well as patient education and samples.”

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