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How do you grow a brand that already controls 70% of its segment? Get "in-your-face" aggressive, resolved Jacques Pfister, 46, president of Orangina France in Aix-en-Provence. Last April, Mr. Pfister unveiled a bold taste extensi on called Orangina Red with an equally startling ad campaign that is moving the new flavor toward a 10% share, or 20 million liters, of Orangina's French sales-quadruple the first-year sales target. Now, he is considering a roll-ou t into additional markets. "As with any new product launch, in addition to the research and groundwork, you have to rely on a good measure of intuition and feeling," Mr. Pfister explained. "We felt Orangina Red would be a succes s. We didn't guess it would be so big so fast."Although Orangina dominates the carbonated orange drink sector and ranks second behind Coca-Cola in soft drink sales in France, Mr. Pfister knew the market was relatively young with g reat growth potential. Moreover, research showed that consumers in the upper end of Orangina's 13- to 18-year-old target group favored more adventurous flavors. To keep these drinkers-and lure non-Orangina consumers-Mr. Pfister put a spin on the Orangina recipe, using more tart blood oranges for color and less sweet taste, and adding guarana, a slightly bitter Amazon fruit with the effect of caffeine."Orangina Red has a more aggressive, challenging flavor b ut allows us to maintain continuity with regular Orangina by including the zest, sparkle, orange taste and pulp that has made the name famous," Mr. Pfister explained. "The color, meanwhile, is very appealing to adolescents, since it suggests the forbidden, the audacious, the assertive, and even the erotic."With Orangina Red being what Mr. Pfister called "the mean little brother" of the original, ad agency Young & Rubicam, Paris, turned the red bottle in to an evil menace who manages to shake himself up almost to the point of destruction."Its aggressive side is brought out through violence in the ads, but violence so burlesque that its humorous intent cannot be missed," Mr. Pfist er explained. "They are basically horror films that go awry. The bottle attacks a group of kids in the forest in a parody of `The Texas Chainsaw Massacre' and ends up getting beaten, crushed and run over as he pursues his victims. "Mr. Pfister admitted that many adults equated the ads with sinister notions like blood and communism. "But adolescents, who are the ones we are after, love it," he said with a laugh. "For them, red is excitement, adventure and action." In France, the ad scored an all-time-high 73% spontaneous recognition mark in independent research.At this rate, it won't be long before Orangina Red is flowing as freely as wine in French cafes.
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