It seems everyone I’ve spoken with this season has experienced a mega cold this New Year. If you haven’t gotten yours, don’t worry it probably got lost in the holiday mail but I’m sure it’s on its way. I haven’t had a cold in a few years but I wasn’t so lucky a few weeks ago as I’m just getting over one that lasted a whopping three weeks — lasting this long mostly because of my air travel from New York to Florida which the airlines might as well rename the Influenza Express.

Having a Holiday cold isn’t usually worrisome but it is almost always rather annoying. Like the visiting in-laws, you know it’s going to leave soon but that doesn’t make it less miserable or easier to put up with. But when a cold lasts weeks instead of days it can bring down both your defenses and your spirit. It’s times like these that you can use words of encouragement and I found mine in the most unlikely of places: wrapped around my cough drops.

In between the logos that adorned the wrap,  instead of the words lemon, honey and eucalyptus,  were inspirational messages like “Don’t waste a minute” and “You’ve survived tougher” “Put on your game face” “Seize the day” and “Bet on Yourself.” Not what I expected at all but when you think about it, a novel approach. It’s part of the Halls “A Pep Talk in Every Drop” campaign.

The campaign is best known for the television commercials but to me the idea is social media inspired. Quick, targeted messages, posts, or texts, communicated at the precisely right time. The only difference is that they were not electronic. Halls devised a way to participate socially with media without using a single tweet or Facebook post. It also provided targeted marketing while still avoiding the obvious. We take cough drops when we’re ill or under the weather. Rather than telling customers its products will work, it told its customers that it cared. Subtle but effective.

Like it or hate it, the campaign is just a great lesson for any of us planning social media campaigns — even if those campaigns that involve just Twitter and Facebook. We need to show care and concern in addition to letting customers know they can solve problems or save money and time. Sometimes a little encouragement can go a long way whether its wrapped around a lemon drop or keywords, href tags and an html string.