Experience Strategy

Let’s Make Bengay Sexy


Brand Refresh, Product Design

MY ROLE: Product Design, Research

MY TOOLKIT: Pen + Paper / Cinema 4D


Why do we joke about Bengay?


Challenge: the “Old People” Stigma

Bengay was invented in 1896 in Paris by Dr. Jules Bengué. But being first resulted in an association with “old” people (in our survey, even those in their 70s said it was for people older than them).

But Tiger Balm and Icy Hot are very successful with younger audiences, despite being nearly identical to Bengay.

New Target: The Moderately Mindful

The moderately mindful are those who try to be centered, but aren’t too crazy about it. They limit their use of oral pain relievers. They might meditate with Headspace, but don’t own any crystals.

Rubbing in a cream feels more therapeutic than popping a pill. The process is relaxing, and so is the pain relief.


Strategy — Bengay transforms pain into relaxation.

(for more strategy, click here to visit the website of strategist Caroline Moyer-Kardos)

Reposition & Redesign


To achieve this sexy brand pivot into wellness sections, I redesigned the packaging to echo the brand’s early 20th-century look, reverting to the pre-1930s spelling of the product — Bengué. I sought to fuse the depression-era package design with modern, higher-end wellness products found in stores like Anthropologie and Sephora, without losing the familiar color and shape cues of recent Bengay packaging.

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Sure it’s old. As old as the Eiffel Tower.