Opticrom Hayfever launches Pollen Alert skill for Alexa

Hay fever brand Opticrom Hayfever, in partnership with media agency Mindshare, has launched the UK’s first brand-led pollen alert on Amazon’s Alexa platform. It is also the first voice-activated skill to use hyper-local data to notify users about high pollen counts in their postcode. The skill will also function within the Alexa ecosystem as a flash briefing.

Opticrom’s ‘Pollen Alert’ campaign is the first piece of work from Mindshare UK to be supported by its global voice and visual consultancy, announced in October 2018, and was developed in partnership with Voxly.

With Opticrom Hayfever’s understanding of the consumer journey of a hay fever sufferer, brand owner Sanofi was able to identify the most relevant moment to engage and provide information on what their allergy day will look like. This audience-first strategy and understanding of the consumer journey enabled the introduction of the voice-activated skill, supported by insights on voice search drawn from Mindshare Futures’ latest Trends report, which surveyed 6,000 UK consumers, as well as its voice research project, Speak Easy.

“It’s been exciting to work with the Mindshare team on this market-leading voice skill, which we believe will help alert thousands of hay fever sufferers across the UK to high pollen counts in their area,” said Sowmya Venkat, allergy senior brand manager in consumer healthcare at Sanofi. “This will enable them to proactively manage their hay fever and allergy symptoms in a way which slots seamlessly into their daily routines.

“After reading the extensive research conducted by Mindshare Futures’ for its Speak Easy report on voice, it was clear that this was a space in which we needed to meet our audience. Mindshare’s newly launched voice and visual consultancy has been instrumental in helping us build an audio presence which adds value to the lives of our consumers.”

Charlotte Ince, mobile strategy director at Mindshare, said that as consumer adoption of voice accelerates, it’s becoming increasingly important for brands to have a strong audio presence. “Our Trends research showed that 21 per cent of the UK population now own a smart speaker (up from 13 per cent last year), demonstrating that voice technology is no longer a novelty for the everyday consumer. We’re confident that the easy usability and interoperability of the voice skill will add brand equity for Opticrom Hayfever from day one, whilst simultaneously easing a fundamental pain point for hay fever sufferers.”