Sprite’s latest flavor and a new way food helps to get over an ex: Marketer’s Brief
Welcome to the latest edition of Marketer's Brief, a quick take on marketing news, moves and trends from Ad Age's reporters and editors. Send tips/suggestions to [email protected]. And to get the latest news as it happens, sign up for Ad Age newsletters, including CMO Strategy.
Sprite's new twist
Here is the latest sign that drink categories are blurring: Coca-Cola Co. is coming out with Sprite Ginger. While it sounds like ginger ale, it’s not. The drink includes artificial ginger flavoring on top of the soda’s lemon-lime base. It’s part of a new product blitz from Coca-Cola that will include an all-time high of 20 product launches in 2020. Sprite Ginger is supported with a new TV ad from Wieden & Kennedy New York (below), as well as a collaboration with streetwear designer Jeff Staple, who is working with nine young artists on the “Sprite Ginger Collection,” a limited-edition fashion line.
Food is forever?
DoorDash helped people get over breakups by covering up tattoos featuring their exes’ names with imagery of their favorite foods. LA-based tattoo artist Mister Cartoon did the ink in the restaurant delivery brand’s Food is Forever contest. Because what says love more than covering up an ex’s name with soup, sushi, eggs and bacon, or a slice of pineapple and onion pizza? The Martin Agency worked on the project, which also includes $50 DoorDash credits for some people who already have food tattoos and share images of their ink on Twitter or Instagram with #FoodIsForever.
Hennessy gives hoops a shot
The National Basketball Association is swapping whiskey for cognac. The league this week announced Hennessy as its new liquor sponsor, replacing Jack Daniel’s, whose deal ended at the beginning of the 2019-2020 season. The league did not release financial terms of its new multiyear agreement with the cognac brand. Hennessy will kick off its sponsorship this weekend during All-Star weekend in Chicago, where it will serve as the “associate partner” of the NBA Celebrity Game presented by Ruffles. Because what goes better with a fine cognac than … potato chips?
Diplomas for cash
Consumers are used to brands using their data for marketing purposes—but what about their diplomas? Natural Light is offering $100 to anyone willing to “rent” their college diploma to the economy brew. The catch is the Anheuser-Busch InBev brand won’t say exactly how it will use them, other than they will be part of a “highly classified plan” related to its ongoing college debt relief program. The brand is taking entries at nattydiplomas.com. The brand will send pre-paid envelopes for mailing diplomas. “They’ll keep it safe. They’ll send it back, they just won’t tell you what it’s for,” according to a press release. Natty Light says the program is limited to a certain number of people—but it is not saying how many. A spokeswoman said the brand hopes to collect more than 2,000 diplomas in the next month, and promises to pay people the $100 via Cash App or check. The brew began aligning its marketing with college debt relief in 2018 by giving away $40,000 to 25 winners of a contest asking people to post videos on social media describing their “inspiration for going to college.”
‘Alexa, open the story of Lucky Charms’
Lucky Charms is out with a storytelling Alexa skill to promote the “magically delicious” brand in the lead-up to St. Patrick’s Day. The premise is a bit like “Choose Your Own Adventure.” Listeners make choices as they chase the cereal’s Lucky the Leprechaun character to the end of a rainbow where he’s searching for a pot of gold. To note: March 17 is also Lucky’s birthday. General Mills says it collaborated with Amazon and interactive production studio Xandra on the project. It also says listeners won’t hear the same tale twice.
Would you buy this?
Kentucky Fried Chicken X Crocs are the clogs of dreams (or nightmares). They look like buckets of KFC chicken and feature two removable, chicken-scented Jibbitz charms that replicate drumsticks. The $59.99 shoes will be available this spring on the Crocs website.
Number of the week
56.2: Percent of total U.S. hotel bookings in 2019 that came from loyalty-related bookings, according to data from Kalibri Labs
Tweet of the week
Comings and goings
Tailored Brands Inc. appointed Carolyn Pollock chief marketing officer, responsible for the marketing of brands including Men’s Wearhouse, Jos. A. Bank and Moores Clothing for Men. Pollock previously served as a marketing industry advisor and consultant.
Neighborhood social network Nextdoor has tapped Maryam Banikarim as head of marketing. She was most recently global CMO at Hyatt Hotels.
Contributing: Jessica Wohl, E.J. Schultz, Adrianne Pasquarelli