Snapple shoots for No. 3

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Snapple loves cola. Or so says one of five new commercials for the brand unveiled Monday. The spot features actors wearing Snapple-bottle costumes doing sideline cheers for cola in a humorous attempt to show that Snapple is the best alternative when consumers don't want cola. Quaker Oats Co., which bought Snapple in 1994, wants to position the declining brand as the No. 1 alternative beverage.

The new campaign's 60-second introductory spot consists of a parade and the slogan ``We want to be No. 3,'' meaning behind Coke and Pepsi. Another spot brings back Mikey, the young hero of '70s ads for Quaker's Life cereal. Through the same visual technology used in ``Forrest Gump,'' an unaged Mikey tastes his first Snapple and doesn't like it. Voiceover emphasizes that Snapple has many more flavors to appeal to every taste.

All of the ads preserve Snapple's quirky brand character and its longtime tagline, ``Made from the best stuff on Earth.'' But whereas previous ads from Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners, New York, focused on the uniqueness of individual Snapple consumers and flavors, the agency's new campaign celebrates the brand's bigness and broad appeal.

The introductory spot debuts Monday night on Fox's ``Melrose Place'' and CBS' ``The Nanny.'' Snapple has spent about $40 million on media each of the past two years.

Separately, Quaker's Gatorade launched new TV and radio spots Monday in its ongoing ``Life is a sport. Drink it up'' brand campaign from Bayer Bess Vanderwarker, Chicago. The two TV commercials each have 15-second and 30-second versions. One of the spots, ``Make your mark,'' was shot in South Africa. The three radio spots include one about marquee spokesman Michael Jordan called ``Just like Jordan,'' playing off of Gatorade's old ``Be like Mike'' ads.

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