The over-the-counter cold remedy market in Japan is crowded and noisy, and products tend to rely on celebrity endorsement. Kazemill sought to increase market share for its cold remedy on a shoestring budget—so no celebrities, no television. By harnessing the power of Twitter, Kazemill actually devised a method to forecast the spread of cold symptoms, much like weather forecasts. By capturing Tweets that contained six key phrases—sore throat, fever, runny or stuffed nose, headache, sneezing, and coughing, Kazemill could track which symptoms were on the rise anywhere in the country.
Through mutual research conducted with Tokyo University, this Kazemill tool grew to have predictive capabilities. By analyzing the relationship between cold tweets and changes in the weather, Kazemill Plus now reports not only what symptoms are on the rise, but what the risk of catching a cold is day by day over the next two weeks for any user at any location in Japan. In a country where people regularly wear surgical masks, this tool had tremendous impact.