The Mentholatum Gallery of Modern Malaise



The Challenge: Revamp the Regular Press Event

In previous years, the client engaged a fitness expert to lead a low-impact class to showcase their OTC range of topical analgesics. These events were scheduled yearly, but rarely drew many journalists, nor did they develop further interest in the products.



  • The traditional event experience was formulaic and in need of an update
  • Journalists for various markets would not be at a uniform level of fitness
  • A gift bag of OTC products was inadequate incentive for attendance
  • The pace of journalistic output has dramatically increased as a result of social media, thus journalists rightly expect access to exclusive stories in exchange for attendance and coverage


The Strategy: Create a Pop-Up to Highlight New Audiences for Established Remedies

Working alongside PR, we developed a creative concept that would playfully demonstrate the product ranges’ application for multiple less-obvious demographics. To convey issues related to sedentary lifestyles and the convenience of ‘In-App entertainment,’ we created an immersive theatre piece The Mentholatum Gallery of Modern Malaise, inspired by Turner-nominated artist Tracey Emin’s 1999 work My Bed.


In a well-known East London gallery space, we created three separate sets wherein actors performed the everyday activities which can result in injury over time. Members of the PR team, clad in structured uniform, were instructed to behave as gallerists so as to convey key points of the press release as the intentions behind the installations. Catering afforded another opportunity to reiterate the health concerns associated with the convenience of delivery meals – so to heighten the experience we created 3 different takeaway containers branded with ‘Modern Malaise.’ Once the concept had been firmly established, two high-profile influencers stepped into installations to engage with the actors and provide demonstrations for journalists.


The event’s impressive scale and originality supported the PR team’s delivery of multiple angles for various reader demographics. In a final nod to the arts theme, the event – held the week before Frieze – offered gift bags containing passes to The Other Art Fair; the full range of products; and supplementary materials delivered in a miniature pizza box.