Updated every Monday!   Subscribe to free weekly newsletter.

August 6, 2018

Aleve Back & Muscle – A Miracle of Modern Medicine Marketing

Filed under: Health,Retail — Edgar (aka MrConsumer) @ 5:33 am

Many people like Aleve because its pain relief is supposed to last for 12 hours. Now they have a new product — Aleve Back & Muscle Pain — and a new commercial to help launch it.

We were curious about the new product and wanted to see what additional ingredients they added. So we checked the back of the regular package and compared it to the new one.


Aleve comparison

They are exactly the same. The only difference is the box.

We asked Bayer why they came out with a “new” product that really was just the same as the old one. A spokesperson replied:

Aleve Back & Muscle Pain offers the same long-lasting pain relief from Aleve. This product is meant to help consumers understand the various pains Aleve can relieve.

We say, the answer is: marketing and taking up shelf space!

Share this story:




• • •


  1. This happens all the time with so many pain relievers. Look at all the different kinds of acetaminophen (Tylenol®) or aspirin products out there. So many packaged high lighting different symptoms and suggested main uses but it is all the same product. And to top it off they are not all the same price. Buyer Beware. Read the active ingredients and compare before making your decision.

    Comment by Joseph — August 6, 2018 @ 7:04 am
  2. Are they going to have a “I rolled my ankle” pain reliever, “my knees hurt” pain reliever? OY!! What a gimmick!!

    Comment by Sharon — August 6, 2018 @ 7:37 am
  3. Don’t forget products for “I have a teenager” years

    Comment by Pamela Cross — August 6, 2018 @ 4:56 pm
  4. I did the exact same thing two weeks ago! Was curious what was new and better. What a joke and how misleading their advertisement is.

    Comment by Nancy Savageau — August 6, 2018 @ 8:54 am
  5. I really don’t see the big issue here. They aren’t trying to pull the wool over anyone’s eyes. They are just trying to market their product to people who may not have tried it before or are looking for relief from a specific pain. They aren’t making a claim that is new or different from the past they are just highlighting a couple. No offense, but consumers need to be smarter. Yes some marketing is deceptive and some are outright lies, but I fail to see where this one reaches the level of peoples outrage.

    Comment by Alan — August 6, 2018 @ 9:09 am
  6. I guess it’s better than “Aleve May Cause Hives” or “Aleve Blisters”. The good news is that others (Walgreens and Walmart) sell both “Aleve” and “Aleve Back & Muscle Pain” for the same price, and Target doesn’t even carry “Aleve Back & Muscle Pain”. Presumably stores have the freedom to charge different prices for these identical products, and maybe that’s the opportunity that this marketing is meant to create, but so far it doesn’t seem to have come to that.

    Comment by Shawn — August 6, 2018 @ 10:07 am
  7. How about those so called PM Pills… Does a pill really know how to tell what time it is??

    Edgar replies: Richard, I think they typically add an ingredients like an antihistamine that causes drowsiness.

    Comment by Richard Ginn — August 6, 2018 @ 10:31 am
  8. The PM versions contain diphenhydramine

    Comment by Joel — August 29, 2018 @ 5:21 am
  9. I buy generic whenever and whereever I can. And costco is usually the least expensive and you can use the GoodRx to get the best price.

    Comment by Gerry Pong — August 6, 2018 @ 12:38 pm
  10. Alan….Did you view the ad? It says “now introducing”. While not specifically stating it is a new product it is very misleading. And it is not the end of civilization to market this product in this manner. But, the way that people get smarter is by reading about this stuff on Consumer World and others venues like it. Keep up the good work CW.

    Comment by Glen Weybright — August 6, 2018 @ 7:25 pm
  11. Look at Excedrin Extra Strength (Green Box) and Migraine (Red Box) exact same ingredients. Never understood this! Now if we had an Excedrin or Aleve pain in the a.. coworker pill.

    Acetaminophen 250 mg
    Aspirin 250 mg – Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug (NSAID)
    Caffeine 65 mg



    Comment by Scott — August 6, 2018 @ 8:40 pm
  12. Exedrin has done this for years. As the regular Exedrin and the Exedrin Migraine are exactly the same. Just different packaging as to sell more product. And as for Tylenol PM for example is Just PLAIN Tylenol with the active ingredients of BENADRYL added to it. So yes… They just add Benadryl to make you sleep. So if you really were in a pinch and needed an emergency allergy medicine, Tylenol PM would work!

    Edgar replies: As you and the previous poster mentioned, Excedrin has done this for years. We wrote about in 2012!

    See: https://www.mouseprint.org/2012/10/01/excedrin-headache-411-mrconsumer/

    Comment by brad — August 6, 2018 @ 10:06 pm
  13. I actually laughed at this one.

    It’s both sad and humorous that advertisers think so little of consumers

    Comment by Wayne — August 7, 2018 @ 4:33 pm
  14. Think that’s taking up shelf space (different specific functions, identical ingredients)? They took that page right out of the toothpaste marketers’ book!

    Comment by MP — August 8, 2018 @ 11:21 am
  15. With the Excedrin migraine and regular Excedrin the difference is what they are FDA approved to tell you it treats. Marketing materials, new packaging, advertisements, it all has to be FDA approved when they bring a new product or change an existing one. This is likely the case here. Aleve is probably finally allowed to sell a product that “reduces back and muscle pain”, rather than just “reduces pain” in general. There is no impropriety here. Nothing misleading. Its a new product in the sense that Aleve can now actually claim it helps with back and muscle pain. Aleve may have done the job before but they couldn’t market it that. Now they can.

    Comment by Tim — August 8, 2018 @ 2:29 pm
  16. This kind of marketing can actually be quite dangerous if the consumer doesn’t realize the products contain the same medication. They say they’re trying to educate the consumer about the different uses for the product, but what if the lesson the consumer takes away is to take one for each condition, even at the same time, instead of understanding that one dose will address multiple symptoms? Tylenol/acetominophen/paracetamol is has a particularly narrow safe window, and doubling up for even a few days could cause serious liver injury.

    Comment by Sciquest — August 11, 2018 @ 8:29 pm
  17. “All day strong” vs “Strength to last 12 hours”.

    Comment by Tundey A — August 13, 2018 @ 10:24 am

Comments RSS

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Powered by: WordPressPrivacy Policy
Mouse Print exposes the strings and catches buried in the fine print of advertising.
Copyright © 2006-2019. All rights reserved. Advertisements are copyrighted by their respective owners.