Bigger role for bottles in Snapple's marketing efforts

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Life isn't so different in Snapple world, where teenage Snapple bottles act pretty much like teenagers anywhere in America. But some of those bottles are ready for more grown-up adventures.

Building on the campaign for the Cadbury-Schweppes' beverage that made its debut last April, Interpublic Group of Cos.' Deutsch, New York, today breaks an integrated campaign that puts the engaging dressed-up characters in unexpected situations. Rather than tipping cows or throwing wild parties while parents aren't home-as last year's bottle characters did-this year they'll run with the bulls in Spain, celebrate with a bride-to-be at a strip club and compete in a collegiate-level synchronized swim meet (see the spots on QwikFIND aao56w).

Consumers can log on to to see the behind-the-scenes stories of the new TV commercials, which break on Viacom properties. The demographic target is 18- to 24-year-olds.

"All groups find [the bottles] entertaining, whether you're younger or older, but they speak a lot more directly to a younger audience," said Michael Sands, chief marketing and operations officer of the Snapple Beverage Group.

A visit to the "Pamplona" Web site created by the agency's interactive group, iDeutsch, tells the fictional tale of Snapple employees using "Ralph," the guinea pig owned by the sister of a Snapple employee, and other guinea pigs, to create the "Running with the Bulls" ad. Similarly goofy back-stories for each of the ads can be found on the Web site. Snapple's personified bottles are youthful Everymen but the intentionally amateurish spots hearken back to the beverage's early days, when Snapple was a quirky, alternative choice.

back story

"We wanted consumers to make a deeper connection with Snapple," said David Rosen, VP-associate creative director, Deutsch, New York, who worked on the new campaign. "Travel, for instance, is interesting to our audience, but the story doesn't end with a 30-second spot."

The yard-sale theme ties in to this year's Summer 2003 promotion where consumers can trade bottle caps for everything from backpacks to foosball tables. Snapple cap collectors can "shop" on the Web site. As part of the integrated campaign, Wendy Kaufman, the beverage's long-time pitchwoman known as "the Snapple Lady," will visit stores in major markets, holding her own yard sales.

In Manhattan and San Francisco, Deutsch's promotions and public relations unit will stage Snapple Yard Sales as part of the promotion. Other pieces in this year's campaign include "Snapple predicts" fortunes inside fortune cookies as well as pizza boxes and deli bags printed with bottle characters from the new TV spots.

customer input

Last year's "What's Your Story?" promotion also yielded material for a new TV spot. Deutsch created "Bouncing Car," out of an entry submitted by Troy Thomas, of Walnut Creek, Calif., in which boy bottles bounce in their car at a stop light to get the attention of girl bottles standing on the corner.

Snapple has not done well, despite not being part of the PepsiCo and Coca-Cola Co. distribution system, said John Sicher, editor of Beverage Digest. Snapple volume last year fell 12.3%, while the juice drinks category grew 16.3%. Mr. Sands said the Snapple brand itself grew in 2002, but that the Elements line dragged it down. Elements had been under the Snapple trademark but has been spun out on its own with new packaging.

According to Taylor Nelson Sofres' CMR, Snapple received just $1.6 million in measured media last year, down from $6.1 million in 2001. Mr. Sands however said spending has increased every year and would do so again.

contributing: hillary chura

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