Red Lion putting celebrity antics in focus for new campaign

September 11, 2012  |  Chris Powell  |  Comments

It may have missed the boat on Charlie Sheen, but Toronto-based Psynex Pharmaceuticals should have no problem finding public figures whose lapses of judgment make them ideal candidates for its focus-enhancing supplement, Focusyl.

The first was Kristen Stewart, who made headlines recently for cheating on boyfriend and Twilight co-star Robert Pattinson. She was sent a complimentary box of Focusyl last week while attending the Toronto International Film Festival to promote her upcoming appearance in the movie On the Road.

The piece of stunt marketing was supported by a YouTube video depicting a faux Psynex representative explaining the company’s decision to send Stewart a box of its product.

“As a result of Miss Stewart’s recent admitted off-screen affair, it is our sincere hope that she will benefit from Focusyl’s ability to re-balance neurotransmitter levels and increase oxygen and nutrient delivery in the brain, enabling her to focus more of her energies on accelerating her acting career – a direction we’re confident her fans will support,” said the video.

The company has a total of five videos recorded, said Brett Channer, president of Red Lion, the Publicis-owned company behind the campaign.

It is the first consumer marketing initiative for Psynex, which currently sells Focusyl via Amazon. “We’re all about creating brand behaviour, not brand ads,” said Channer. “We really don’t look at ourselves as an agency, we look at ourselves as a consulting firm that helps clients get past business problems to help their sales.”

Focusyl is the first in a series of what Channer described as over-the-counter “mental fitness products” being developed by Psynex. Further work for the brand, which Channer described as “more stunt-oriented,” will debut in the northeast U.S. in the near future.

Focusyl’s core target is a group that Channer described as “emerging adults,” people who are either in university or just entering the workplace and are seeking mental focus. The product is expected to compete with energy drinks like Red Bull.

Since formally opening in January, Red Lion has completed work for Whirlpool Canada and computer manufacturer ASUS, and is currently agency of record for Caulfeild Apparel (whose brands include Joe Boxer, English Laundry and Cutter & Buck). The agency now employs 21 people.

“We’re finding our voice and the clients are finding us, so it’s starting to work,” said Channer.

Channer helms Red Lion for Publicis

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