Dr Pepper Ten Goes Classic with “Manliest Man”

Courtesy of adweek.com
Courtesy of adweek.com

It could just be me not having as much time to watch TV and commercials, but there has been much less headlines about Dr Pepper Ten recently, as Coke and Pepsi continue to advertise and command viewer’s attention.  That said, it made me curious to find out what the latest Dr Pepper Ten was, and whether they continued their trend of “Still Not For Women” theme.  From their latest commercial below, you’ll see that they’ve decided to bring back memories of the 1980s, by providing visual references to beer and cigarette commercials from that era.  Examples are not limited to the following: eating tree bark, “fishing” for Dr Pepper Ten, and canoeing with a bear.  After watching the full commercial below, we’ll take a few moments to understand the communication and also step back to understand why Dr Pepper Ten has not been dominating the air waves as much.

The commercial’s classic “faded” feel and over-the-top theatrics make the whole episode light-hearted and certainly catches your attention  Gone are the “It’s Not For Women” taglines and average Joe rugged male actors, replaced with another representation of the manliest man.  At the root of it all is the message that the soft drink has ten calories and it’s OK for men to drink a low calorie beverage.  So while the commercials vary from time to time, the messaging remains intact.  Dr Pepper Ten has just embraced more comedy and toned down the female alienation aspects.

Moving on to the less obvious question of why there has been less Dr Pepper Ten commercials of late, it’s best we take a quick look at their latest earnings release.  From the Nasdaq blogger’s opinion, overall Dr Pepper business appears to be trending down, while Dr Pepper Ten doesn’t appear to be performing extremely well either.  From this perspective, because the core and extended offerings are declining, logic would apply that reversing these declines would be centered on the core offering – Dr Pepper.  The Dr Pepper youtube channel would seem to indicate as much, since most of the recent uploads center around their “/1” campaign.

While performance declines are not limited to only the carbonated segment, fixing their core offering in this segment is paramount.  Overall beverage consumption trends are shifting toward healthier options, so holding on to their piece of the shrinking carbonated soda pie is important.  Therefore, it makes sense to focus Dr Pepper’s efforts and dollars on the main product, than on the extension offerings.

evian Continues Live Young Campaign with Baby & Me

Image sourced from http://www.campaignlive.co.uk

In a continuation of their Live Young global campaign debuting in 2009 with Roller  Babies and extended in 2011 with Baby Inside, evian has released the 2013 extension of the campaign: Baby & Me.  Maintaining their focus on babies and aligning that with natural purity, evian carries through their message of living young.  As adults look into mirrors and see a reflection of themselves in baby form – “babyfied” according to evian – they break out in dance as they connect with their inner youth.  See their commercial below:

Since 2009, there has been more digital involvment and evian has embraced that with this year’s campaign.  Aside from the global launch of this video in 14 countries, evian’s facebook page is launching a “Baby & Me” app that uses facial recognition software to babyfy the user.  The user can then share the babyfied version of themselves with their friends and social network.

With the incremental digital effort, there will likely be stronger engagement than the 2009 and 2011 campaigns.  Can’t wait to see the app and try it out.  BevWire readers can see a babyfied version of me here, and try it out for yourself.

Increase Customization to Satisfy Soda Shopper Needs

It’s no surprise that carbonated soft drinks have been on a sales decline for the past few years.  Subjects such as stronger health-focus, lower calorie sodas, and government-proposed taxes are just a few examples of contributing factors toward the category’s decline.  So what has beverage conglomerates done to respond to this challenge?  Increase their product assortment – especially in the low calorie segment – and expand their package ranges among existing flagship brands.  One such example of proliferating the package range is delivering even more customization at a grocery retailer.

Over the last few months, we have seen examples of this customization from both Coca-Cola and Pepsi.  Beverage Digest tweeted about Coca-Cola’s partnership with Kroger’s to deliver a retailer-specific merchandizing strategy, where individual 12oz (355ml) cans of soda were lined up in racks for shoppers to choose their desired composition for an 8- or 10-pack.

Shortly after that, BevReview.com’s readers tip off a customized offering from Pepsi, offering a mix of both Pepsi and Mountain Dew in one 28- and 30-pack offering.

Both types of offering are examples of increased customization and are intended to satisfy more of the shopper’s needs.  Both are trying to ensure that the grocery retailer fulfills most (if not all) of their buyers’ soft drink requirements on that one shopping trip.  Coca-Cola’s offerings are also eliminating the fear of expired cans simultaneously.  After all, as a grocery shopper that previously had to buy a 12-pk of Tab but really only wanted 4 cans of Tab can now get these 4 cans, along with a couple cans of Fanta Orange and Fanta Grape.  Pepsi’s combo pack meets shoppers’ needs a little differently, but still offers customization since you can purchase both top-selling beverage brands in one case pack.

Coca-Cola Freestyle - courtesy of timeoutchicago.com

These custom offering are likely the end result of valuable shopper insights on consumption behavior.  What’s also interesting about Coca-Cola’s create-your-own-pack initiative is that it mimics their Coke Freestyle machine.  To remind some readers, the Coke Freestyle is the beverage manufacturer’s fountain unit that offers over 100 flavors of soda.  The important part to note for this machine is that in addition to allowing the thirsty consumer to create their own beverage mix, it also provides the Coca-Cola with information on what flavors are dispensed the most and possibly satisfy a previously unmet beverage need.  Creating your own multipack allows them to do the same thing, by monitoring shipment levels of individual cans and tracking the point-of-sale scanned data.

For Coca-Cola and Pepsi, this is an example of passing influence to the purchasers while maintaining their own product control.  By giving customers more choices and customization, they have effectively satisfied more of the shoppers’ needs and benefited themselves in the process with rich information.  Everyone wins in this scenario.

5 Questions with Nika Water’s Jordan Mellul

Nika Water logoThere are many companies that embrace driving social causes with their products, aiming to make the world a better place by donating a portion of their profits to for sustainability initiatives.  Nika Water is one such company that does this, and really tries to help as much and as quickly as possible with their social mandate.  Nika Water’s website details that the company donates 100% of their profits for clean water, education, and sanitation projects in developing nations.  BevWire was given an opportunity to interview Jordan Mellul, VP Operations for Nika Water – and through this interview you will see that their focus is really on improving sustainability and environmental causes.  Read about my insightful interview with Jordan below, ranging from Nika’s product positioning, to their marketing strategy, and their distribution strategy.

BevWire:  While Nika’s unique selling proposition is a social mandate to not only be carbon neutral, but also to donate profits to help solve environmental problems in developing countries, what makes Nika better than other products?

Jordan Mellul: To be honest, we try to keep it simple at Nika Water.  While our product is a reverse osmosis/UV light purified water, we really do want the focus to be on the brand and message that it carries.  Our aim is to reach the mass population and appeal to the widest demographic possible.  After all, Nika is set to donate our profits.  By specializing, and thus limiting, our consumers, we have less of a chance of creating larger funds to donate.  Compared to those that are benefiting from our efforts, we are humbled to even be able to discuss water choice in such detail.

Courtesy of Nika Water & Olive PR Solutions.
Courtesy of Nika Water & Olive PR Solutions.

BW: Nika Water’s website mentions that part of your strategy is to leverage marketing partnerships and social media to raise awareness of these environmental causes.  As such, Nika Water has partnered with World Vision and Free the Children among other organizations.  What type of inventive marketing partnerships and social media activities has Nika Water implemented?

JM: Unlike most typical and traditional water companies, Nika has always set itself apart by how we promote and share our brand’s message.  We know that educating the consumer on what choosing Nika Water means is the primary goal.  By marketing in the way that young, energetic juice, tea, and energy drinks go about things, we are able to show that the water category has the opportunity to be relevant and cool as well.  By speaking face to face with people at street fairs, festivals, and other events, we can share our story directly.  We have partnered, not only with world-class NGOs to show how social entrepreneurialism is a new way to make global change, but also clothing, accessory, and lifestyle brands that help make a difference too.  Social media has been used at every level and intertwined into all of our efforts to create awareness.  By holding contests, promoting other like-minded groups, and keeping open, honest conversations active with supporters, Nika does what no other bottled water does to be in touch.

BW: In terms of product availability, the website mentions that Nika can be found in natural food stores, delis, cafes among other distribution channels.  Is there any particular retailers stores I can direct the readers to go if they would like to purchase Nika water?  Also, what is Nika’s plan for expansion into the traditional grocery/drug/mass retailers?

JM: Currently, we are focused on building our brand in the types of places that have an independent feel and are staples of their community.  With a cause-based product like ours, we seek quality accounts over simply quantity.  It’s the owners and customers in these locations that connect with Nika’s entire appeal.  It’s because of this, that it isn’t so easy to point people directly to where to find Nika, other than their “corner shops”.  We may have plans to do open opportunities with more traditional grocery/drug/mass retailers down the road, but not until we feel we can really compete on the level that it requires.

Nika Water VP of Operations – Jordan Mellul

BW: While Nika’s website has a “Shop Nika” section that allows for online purchasing, are there any plans for international expansion into Canadian retailers?  If so, when would this be?

JM: Nika’s sales goals are taken territory by territory.  Still in our infancy, it is important to stabilize each market that we venture into, before looking to expand.  Our goals include covering the major US cities before attempting to break into the Canadian scene.  However, with the support of one of our first and largest NGO partners, Free The Children, being based in Toronto and well-known across all the provinces, we’re confident that the support would be there almost immediately.  In regards to the merchandise that we peripherally sell however, Canadian followers of Nika are welcome to purchase that now and wear their support!

BW:  Last question, are there any plans for line extensions or product innovations?

JM:  While it has always been discussed internally, there are no plans being put into action at this moment.  We really want people to focus on what we do now, and build our business’ foundation, before becoming more creative and branching out.  Water is simply our vehicle at the moment.  It is the means to an end. If trends or experience dictated that another product would be more suitable to generate income for our NGO partners, we would definitely adapt accordingly.

 Thanks so much for your time Jordan, and thank you Olive PR Solutions for arranging this!