The classic cold treatment Nasivin® has been helping to treat stuffed noses since 1961
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What good is space travel if you can’t relieve the symptoms of the common cold? This was the idea behind an ad sticker for Nasivin® in 1985, which read: “America has its NASA — we’ve got Nasivin®.” The ads for the cold remedy containing oxymetazoline (OMZ) that Merck introduced to the market 50 years ago weren’t always that colorful and clever. The little Nasivin® cartoon man with his hat and runny red nose from 1962, for example, was symbolic of the stuffy but down-to-earth era of West Germany’s economic miracle.
Merck kept launching new innovative cold remedies on the market in rapid succession, even as the ads with the Nasivin® cartoon man continued: In 1962, just one year after the introduction of the classic nose drops, the company brought out a corresponding nasal spray. For 50 years Merck has succeeded in maintaining a balance between pharmaceutical innovation and a trusted brand image.
A product conquers the world
“Nasivin® is a trusted classic product,” says Katja Baumeister, Group Product Manager Germany for Nasivin®. “At the same time, we were often the first to develop new products and new methods for administering them — for example, Nasivin® for infants in 1971 and the first preservative-free dosage system in 1972.”
The expansion of the product family was accompanied by successful efforts on the part of Merck to continually introduce Nasivin® to new markets. The cold remedy is sold under the name Iliadin® in South America, for example, and now occupies a solid market position on the continent, according to Irene König, Senior Global Brand Manager for Nasivin®.
In India, Nasivion® (as it’s called there) has been the medicine of choice for stuffed-up noses for 40 years. Formulations containing no preservatives were a key innovation for the brand in many eastern European markets. And development potential is still very high, says König, who points out that “countries like Russia and Ukraine are very interesting markets for Nasivin®.”
The cold treatment is now available in more than 60 countries around the world. Russia is currently the biggest market for Nasivin outside Germany, and developments in Asia have been very dynamic. But Nasivin® isn’t just international in terms of its distribution and brand names: The product is also manufactured at seven locations around the world (two in Germany and one each in Mexico, South Africa, India, Indonesia, and Thailand), which reflects its importance on international markets. “Nasivin® is one of the four global ‘power brands’ from Merck CH,” says König.