#GetYourHourBack — One Brand’s Attempt to ‘Own’ Daylight Savings


As the debate continues about the need for daylight saving time (and Florida proposes making a permanent leap into it, with the “Sunshine Protection Act” passing the state’s Senate this week), there will be a collective “spring forward” on March 11. At least one brand sees the resulting loss of an hour’s sleep as an opportunity.

Natrol, the #1 melatonin brand in the U.S., has a plan to “take over daylight savings” this weekend. Come Sunday, every visitor to The New York Times website will be greeted by versions of a takeover ad, beginning with a countdown clock, for Natrol Melatonin, with the hashtag #getyourhourback.

Natrol don't lose sleep over daylight savings
It’s part of an overall attempt by Natrol to “own” events throughout the year that disrupt people’s sleep cycles. This is, research shows, the time of year that New Year’s resolutions to sleep better are waning, and it hopes to trigger social media chatter with the NYT takeover.

“Every brand wants to extend the buzz around an event to other engagement channels, but it’s getting harder to do,” says Mary Jo Sobotka, chief integrated media officer at Phelps.

“Because it reaches a cross-section of educated people whose lives require quality sleep, The New York Times homepage takeover gives Natrol a timely, relevant connection across social media, from consumers to influencers to the editorial community.”

Natrol marketing director Thomas Hart saw an opportunity to generate social media buzz around daylight savings, because the shift upsets the body’s melatonin production. So, he asked his agency (Phelps) how Natrol Melatonin could “own the equinox.” The result: a mini campaign that kicks off on The Times site and then goes across the Internet for a month.

According to the NYT, it’s the first time brand has done a homepage takeover for daylight savings time. Natrol, meanwhile, is also seeding the conversation through influencer marketing, with paid endorsements such as the so-called “mommy bloggers” below: