Although the brand has a long history of launching basketball inspired campaigns, Sprite launched the “Camo” global campaign with the help of Bartle Bogle Hegarty a few weeks ago, trying to reach out for audiences other than basketball players/fans.
Now, a new campaign has emerged targeting teenage audiences in the U.S., the first from Leo Burnett after being appointed to handle Sprite’s advertising business in April 2012.
The campaign is carrying a new tagline “There’s nothing soft about it”, stressing the intensive taste of the drink, while the first spot featuring star MMA fighter Phil Davis is speaking of the same message, through a humorous storyline: The new campaign’s purpose is not just to broaden the target audience, but to connect the unique experience of drinking Sprite to the brand itself – an effort that has been missing in previous initiatives, according to some executives.
Kevin Keith, Coca-Cola’s group director – integrated marketing content, commented on the change of tactics:
“We’ve never linked [the product experience] as overtly as we have now… Most brands go to a lifestyle brand without connection to the product experience. We’re trying to link to the product experience more sharply.”
“In the last two years, we’ve been fine-tuning against the same strategy… This campaign is based on the same fundamental truth we have for Sprite — unique, intense excitement,” added Rafael Acevedo, brand director at Sprite.
According to Mr. Keith, Sprite will try to connect different teen “passion points” such as music, skateboarding and film, in the upcoming months. As a part of that effort, the brand will organize a student film contest at the end of the year.
I have never understood why Sprite followed this basketball oriented advertising logic, when it is a universal drink whose promotion should not be limited to fans of one sport only. Hopefully the new campaign will “fix” this, and bring the brand to a wider spectrum of people.