I watched the brown fluid trickle slowly down the tube and into my right arm. The brown fluid was liquid iron. I was having an iron infusion since I had been feeling weak and unsteady after a recent operation.

I sighed and tried to relax in the lounge chair while the procedure moved slowly along. The nurse told me I would be reclining for about two hours. What to do to distract myself? I couldn’t do much because one of my arms was out of action.

I sighed. Then I noticed the row of cough drops – Halls Cough Drops – I had assembled on the stand by my lounger. No, my throat wasn’t dry. But I needed a sugar shot – some sweet syrup to brighten my ordeal.

I slowly unwrapped one and popped it in my mouth. It didn’t take long for the sweet syrup to fill my mouth, calm me down and make me ready for the long haul – that’s haul, not Hall.

I felt the wrapper in my fingers. I had never paid any attention to the cough drop wrappers before, but now I had nothing to do so I did.

I squinted at it, and it told me “Let’s hear your battle cry. And don’t give up on you.” And in case I needed bilingual reassurance: “Ne vous laissez tomber. Don’t let yourself down.”

I sighed. Of course, I couldn’t march forward. But the wrapper was right I had survived tougher. Thus, reassured by a tiny blue and yellow piece of wax paper, I settled down. Other wrappers fired me up with “March forward!” and Keep your chin up!”

Four Halls and four pep talks later, I was done.

The episode got me thinking. Did you ever wonder whose idea it was to put pep talks on cough candy wrappers?

Cough drop history

Curious, I went online looking for more about the brand. After a few hours of poking around on the internet, discovered very little. The Halls’ makers may advertise but they don’t disclose much.

In 2010, Halls marketers decided to motivate cough candy users with messages on each lozenge wrapper. “Pep Talks,” they called them.

What messages did for fortune cookie munchers, these tiny pep talks were going to do for sore throat sufferers.

Who came up with this campaign? How successful has it been? Any interesting responses from customers?

I searched and I searched.

Halls History

According to Wikipedia, the Hall brothers, Thomas and Norman, started cooking up cough drops in the 1930 in England – Stanley Road, Whitefield, Lancashire to be exact. Since then, the brand bounced around from Warner Lambert to Pfizer and Adams. It’s part of Mondelez International now.

Wiki goes on to say that In 2016, Halls was one of the biggest selling branded over-the-counter medications sold in Great Britain, with sales of £32.5 million. That’s nearly $54 million CADs as of October, 2023.
That’s a lot of sore throats out there that need soothing.

But that was all I discovered. So, I reached out to the Mondelez PR/marketing department and sent them a Q&A in late September 2023. I’m still waiting for a reply.