Ira Antellis actually got inspired when a doctor checked his blood pressure and said, “this is not good.”
“He’s like, ‘you got to get it under control,’” Antelis recalls. “Read up on it. Eat different foods.”
The veteran music composer took that advice to another level.
Working with with nutritionalist Susan Schachter, Antelis proceeded to conduct a series of home-based kitchen experiments that eventually became 120/Life — “the first functional drink to promote normal blood pressure.”
Costing less than an average cup of coffee, 120/Life combines six natural ingredients that have been clinically proven to promote normal blood pressure: beetroot, hibiscus, pomegranate, tart cherry, cranberry, and magnesium.
With a collection of clinical studies and a growing number of satisfied customers to back his product, Antelis was ready to spread the word. So he did what he does best.
“I sort of pulled some of my advertising relationships,” he says.
Antelis wields decades of experience as Music Director for Leo Burnett, Co-CEO of Music Dealers, and co-founder of Jira Productions, the music production studio that he has operated with partner Jim Hoffman since 2006. It didn’t take long for him to brand 120/Life with a look, a message, and a campaign that compared to the stuff coming out of Michigan Ave.
The logo and package were designed by Julian Furr, who was recommended by Antelis’ friend and former Leo B coworker, Bob Chimbel. They boast natural photography and bright colors that radiate a lively yet elegant vibe.
A 15-second spot — shot, directed, and edited by Hoffman — combines the visuals with facts about the beverage’s healthy upside. It moves to a song called “A Little 120,” which Antelis composed, co-wrote, and recorded with his musical partner, Dejion, who sings on the track.
When it was time to spread the word, Antelis got in touch with another longtime friend and collaborator, John Immesoete, the current Chief Creative Officer at Epsilon.
Immesoete’s background with traditional advertising and shopper marketing — combined with Epsilon’s knack for analyzing consumer data and strategizing the results — were essential to getting 120/Life in front of the most likely potential customers.
“We decided to hire them to do the opening soft launch,” says Antelis. “I wanted to connect with people who had the same condition, who are over fifty, and who like natural remedies.”
In a matter of weeks, according to Antelis, Epsilon had helped him reach “like a billion people” by targeting audiences through online channels.
The results of the effort, which includes a newsletter called The Circulatory, are undeniable: last week, Dr. Lauren Streicher hosted a segment about 120/Life on WGN.
Currently, 120/Life is only available through the company’s website. But when it’s big enough for the stores, Antelis will be ready to go.
“My cousin Peter Levy, he’s a big product distributor,” says Antelis. “We made a deal. I said, ‘okay, I’ll give you the drink and if your blood pressure goes down, you have to distribute it.’ He went from 167 to like 135.”