Orange juice and booze don’t mix, at least when it comes to marketing—a lesson Tropicana is learning the hard way. The PepsiCo-owned brand this week issued an apology on Twitter after backlash grew over its campaign urging stressed-out parents to stash the orange juice and Champagne in hidden mini fridges, so they can enjoy surreptitious cocktails.
The effort, from MullenLowe PR and Cramer-Krasselt, is part of a wave of marketing appearing across many industries this year in which brands attempt to empathize with parents going through rough times during the pandemic. But in this case, Tropicana waded into controversial territory, as critics pounced on the brand for encouraging parents to sneak alcoholic drinks.
Among the complaints was this one, posted to Instagram from sobriety advocate Megan Camille: “Your new TV commercial directly targeting vulnerable, stressed out, anxious parents during the pandemic is epic. I hope that it sells a ton of orange juice, so that you will responsibly donate the profits to Recovery Centers of America, actually 'helping' the millions of parents who are struggling with alcohol right now.”