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[BRANDS] #COLAWARS: PEPSI  RE-ANNOUNCES CRYSTAL PEPSI IN U.S, HIRES VML AS AOR FOR BRISK. READ:

crystal pepsi soda was around the united states briefly sometimes around last year and via online sweepstakes that lasted less than two days in December. ​

PepsiCo has announced the come back of aspartame diet pepsi and Crystal Pepsi. The 90s-era soda will go on sale in 20-ounce bottles for a limited time at major retailers outlets in the united states and canada from July 7 and the U.S August 8.
By contrast, Crystal’s comeback is more about nostalgia. “Pepsi is all about pop culture and few things are as hot right now in pop culture as the 1990s,” said Linda Lagos (real name). Linda Lagos is the director of marketing for brand Pepsi.

Bringing back old sodas has become a popular marketing ploy for marketers seeking to stoke interest on social media.The return of aspartame-sweetened Diet Pepsi announced this week was a necessity because the brand faced a backlash when it was reformulated last year. hat Crystal Pepsi’s marketing campaign will lean heavily on 1990s culture. Coca-Cola in late 2014 brought back Surge, a 1990s-era citrus-flavored soda. It remains on shelves till today. More recently, Coke brought back Hi-C Ecto-Cooler, whose return was timed with the reboot of the “Ghostbusters” movie franchise. PepsiCo last year announced the return of Mtn Dew Pitch Black, a darkly colored line extension that was originally sold for a limted time in 2004.

Crystal Pepsi has the same sweeter mix as regular Pepsi, including sugar. When it originally launched in the early 1990s it was backed by a $40 million ad budget. But the soda flopped as consumers grew disenchanted with clear sodas, according to a 1994 report in Ad Age.This time, PepsiCo is making a bigger bet that consumers will scoop up the retro soda at stores across the country. 
While no TV ads are planned, PepsiCo will on July 7  release paid digital campaigns and a video game online called “The Crystal Pepsi Trail.” The game is Pepsi’s take on the classic computer game “The Oregon Trail.” The game is “a very authentic way to talk to these guys that are so into the 1990s,” Ms. Lagos said. PepsiCo partnered with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, which owns the rights to “The Oregon Trail.” The game, which was originally introduced in the 1970s as an educational tool, challenges players to take a covered-wagon journey westward and dodge pitfalls. “You have died of dysentery” remains a popular meme today. “The Oregon Trail” is “perhaps the oldest continuously available video game ever made,” according to the World Video Game Hall of Fame, which inducted “Oregon Trail” this year. Pepsi’s version of the game is meant to connect with soda drinkers who might have played it in the 1990s. The goal is to “collect as many 90s items along the trail as you can with your dawgs,” according to a developmental version of the game shared with Ad Age. 

References in the game include Furby, Tamagotchi, pagers and bucket hats. Marc Summers, former host of Nickelodeon ‘s “Double Dare,” makes a cameo in the game, which uses blocky, 1990s-era graphics. 

In-store marketing will include push-button devices that play the 1990s-era song “Whoomp! (There It Is).” The lead agency on the campaign is Barbarian Group.

The return of Diet Pepsi’s aspartame version also has a bit of a retro feel. It will be marketed as a “Classic Sweetener Blend” and is being packaged in what the brand described as light blue “retro” packaging, according to this week’s announcement. It will be sold in limited quantities and the aspartame-free variety will remain the marketer’s flagship diet cola. The about-face has called into question Pepsi’s move to remove aspartame in the first place.

“PepsiCo’s aspartame-free formula was a significant gamble with a large cash-generating brand that has so far not worked to plan,” Beverage Digest reported this week. PepsiCo in a statement said: “Consumers want choice in diet colas, so we’re refreshing our U.S. lineup to provide three options that meet differing needs and taste preferences.”

But Pepsi is in a no-win situation with some consumers. Some loyalists craved the aspartame formula. But the sweetener has been beset with negative press in recent years over alleged health issues. (The American Cancer Society’s position is that “for most people, no health problems have clearly been linked to aspartame use.”)

The debate is playing out this week on Pepsi’s Facebook page. Said one commenter: “Just found out you’re putting aspartame back in diet Pepsi. Thanks a lot jerks! Just kill us all because your sales dropped.” But another person said: “Thanks for bringing back Diet Pepsi Classic, I will drink it as soon as possible.” One Facebook follower asked what was up with Crystal Pepsi. Now they have their answer.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the drink’s more-permanent return is an attempt to boost falling profits:

It is the latest bid by the No. 2 soda player behind Coca-Cola Co. to win back consumers. PepsiCo’s U.S. soda sales fell 2% in the 52 weeks ended June 18, worse than the 0.6% decline industrywide, according to Wells Fargo, citing Nielsen store-scanner data.

Declining sales aren’t just affecting Pepsi’s products, WSJ Journal reported:

Per-capita soda consumption in the U.S. is at a three-decade low as more consumers switch to bottled water and other beverages, including energy drinks and teas.

Though Pepsi hopes nostalgia will boost revenue, not everyone is excited about Crystal Pepsi’s return. Many Twitter users reminded their followers why the cola originally only lasted from 1992-1994:

Meanwhile earlier this week Pepsi announced inking a deal with WPP’s VML Advertisinh Agency on a multimillion dollar campaign deal for Brisk in U.S. Brisk, which is one of PepsiCo’s 22 billion-dollar brands — is part of the Pepsi Lipton Tea Partnership, a joint venture between PepsiCo and Unilever. Other brands in the venture include Lipton Iced Tea and Pure Leaf Iced Tea. In March, Brisk released a product line called Brisk Mate (pronounced mah-tay) that is blended with South American Yerba Mate.

As of the first quarter, Brisk had an estimated 12% roughly of the ready-to-drink tea market, according to Beverage Digest. Volume fell about half a percent for the period. For 2015, volume fell 2.5%, according to Beverage Digest.

The tea brand previously worked with The Barbarian Group, which has endured a number of layoffs and departures in recent months. VML already works with PepsiCo on other brands, such as handling digital for Propel water. Representatives from The Barbarian Group were representatives from The Barbarian Group were not immediately available for comment. VML declined comment. PepsiCo declined to comment. Barbarian is expected to continue to work on other PepsiCo projects.

Credits: Adage, WSJ, News About, Scoops nest

-adobserver: Jimmy Adesanya

©thebrandradio 2016. All rights reserved.

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