Barq's baldies are back in the "Barqtoos II" promotion. BARQTOOS JOINS SUMMER RUSH TO TAG TWEENS

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Barq's Inc., known for wacky marketing stunts, is reprising the Barqtoos tattoo promotion as the marketer heads into its first summer with full national distribution.

Barq's hopes to capture the attention of root beer guzzling "tweens" in new markets, especially Los Angeles.

But Barq's isn't alone. Also this summer, kids will be able to catch a live Killer Shake TeamXtreme skateboard and BMX bike show, and win a trip to cable network Nickelodeon's Florida studios in 10-K Thirst Quencher's "Nickelodeon `GUTS' Instant Win Cap Game." Companies are using these narrowly targeted "tween" promotions to combat the big-spending cola giants and their broad-appeal promotional efforts during the peak soft-drink selling season.

Barq's credits its youth-oriented 1993 promotion for Barqtoos temporary tattoos with boosting root beer sales by 35% last summer. This year, "Barqtoos II" will pack 40 new tattoos, including several licensed Harley-Davidson designs, into 12-packs of Barq's.

Couponing and a display contest for store managers are other components of the promotion.

A "Barqtoos II" TV spot is packed with juvenile humor, like two bald heads shot to look like a derriere and a large man in a pink tutu.

The company will spend $4 million on advertising for "Barqtoos II," including $1.2 million for national cable buys on Nickelodeon/Nick at Nite, MTV: Music Television and Comedy Central. Barq's handles advertising and promotions in-house.

Rick Hill, Barq's VP-national marketing, characterized the company's strategy as "promotional marketing, taken to an extreme."

At Nestle Beverage Co., TeamXtreme will introduce Killer Shake ready-to-drink milkshakes. The team will visit nine western cities through September, where Nestle will tie in with local radio stations and sample Killer Shake. Killer Shake's promotion agency is the Contemporary Group.

Suntory Water Group last year repositioned 10-K, the No. 2 sports drink in supermarkets behind Quaker Oats Co.'s Gatorade, as a kids brand to avoid head-to-head competition with new entries from Coca-Cola Co. and Pepsi-Cola Co.

It continues in that direction with the new promotion, created by Ogilvy & Mather, Atlanta, and tied to Nickelodeon's "GUTS" action sports show.

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