Beverage industry advertising has produced some of pop culture’s most
recognizable taglines, like “Have a Coke and a Smile,” “The Joy of Cola,” “This Bud’s for
You,” and “Tastes Great, Less Filling.” That tradition
should continue in 2005, as major beverage manufacturers prepare to roll
out new advertising campaigns aimed at sharpening their competitive edge.
Beer vs. Beer
The battle for beer category supremacy reached a
fevered pitch in 2004 between Anheuser-Busch and Miller Brewing Co., and
shows few signs of abating in 2005. Television spots pitting freshness,
touted by Anheuser-Busch, vs. taste, promoted by Miller, continue to
populate the airwaves.
As an extension of the campaign, Miller plans to
expand the on-premise taste tests it began in 2004, with a goal of reaching
five million consumers by the end of 2005. Anheuser-Busch’s 2005
Budweiser and Bud Light advertising plans once again include prominent
placement of television spots during February’s Super Bowl XXXIX
telecast. The brewer purchased five minutes of advertising time —
traditionally among the year’s most expensive ad buys — and
plans to air 10 30-second ads. This is the 17th consecutive year
Anheuser-Busch has been the game’s exclusive beer category
advertiser, a relationship slated to continue through 2006.
“The Super Bowl allows Anheuser-Busch and all
companies to reach the largest television viewing audience of the
year,” says Tony Ponturo, vice president, global media and sports
marketing for Anheuser-Busch. “There is no other media event in which
we can reach so many beer drinkers at one time, which makes this a very
efficient media buy for us.”
Other major events during which Anheuser-Busch will
advertise include the Academy Awards; the NCAA Basketball Tournament; the
Major League Baseball season, including the All-Star Game, playoffs and
World Series; the Daytona 500 and other NASCAR Nextel Cup races; and the
Anheuser-Busch will also focus 2005 marketing and
advertising efforts on low-carb products, including its new Budweiser
Select beer; new product introductions, such as its BE beer/energy drink;
and packaging innovations. In addition to its Bud Light applied plastic
label bottles, the company will introduce a 16-ounce aluminum bottle for
Michelob, Michelob Light and Anheuser World Select that will be available
in bars, clubs and convenience stores. Like Miller, Anheuser-Busch plans to
concentrate heavily on on-premise promotions and sampling.
In the soft drink
category, The Coca-Cola Co. recently unveiled what it calls a
“manifesto for change,” which it hopes will revitalize its
brands, including a $400-million investment in marketing and a renewed
advertising focus on youth markets. Flagship Coca-Cola Classic reportedly
is expected to receive a 40 percent increase in marketing spending. And new
creative for Coca-Cola’s “Real” campaign is expected to
roll out in January around the company’s sponsorship of the Fox
reality show “American Idol,” and new ads will debut in the
spring for its C2 brand, which features half the carbs and calories of
Although Coca-Cola’s advertising plans were not
final at presstime, company spokesperson Susan McDermott said new ads for
the company’s key brands – Coca-Cola, Dasani bottled water,
Diet Coke and Sprite – are planned for 2005 and will begin airing
this month. While Coca-Cola doesn’t plan major advertising pushes
around events like the Academy Awards or the Super Bowl, its Coke and
Sprite brands are sponsors of NASCAR and the NBA, respectively, so it does
advertise heavily during those sports seasons.
While all of its brands will receive strong treatment
in 2005, McDermott says, “Coke usually gets a little more emphasis
just because it’s the flagship brand, but there will be emphasis on
all the lead brands. For example, bottled water is such a fast-growing
category that we really want to continue to have our share of voice. Sprite
is a big NBA sponsor, so you’ll see a lot of Sprite presence during
NBA advertising. And diet products are growing really quickly right now, so
we’ll certainly have a significant push behind Diet Coke.”
Pepsi-Cola North America, Coca-Cola’s main
rival, is planning a major ad presence during the Super Bowl and Academy
Awards broadcasts, as has been its tradition. Advertising plans were still
being finalized at presstime, but Pepsi does expect to unveil new ads in
early 2005, and reports indicate a major push next year around its Diet
Pepsi will continue spreading its ad dollars among
media outlets including broadcast, magazine print, outdoor, Internet and
radio, which it uses to target the teen demographic as part of its youthful
“As far as Pepsi’s concerned, we like to
consider ourselves the younger, hipper cola out there, so we tend to go
toward a teen and young adult audience,” says Pepsi spokesman Dave
Pepsi recently made a splash on the NBC reality show
hit “The Apprentice,” which featured a competition to design a
marketing campaign and packaging for Pepsi Edge, which competes directly
with Coca-Cola’s C2 product. DeCecco says Pepsi is pleased with the
exposure the show gave its new brand, and that it would consider future
involvement in a similar opportunity.
At Cadbury Schweppes Americas Beverages, new television ad campaigns will debut in 2005 for its flagship
brands, Dr Pepper, 7 Up and Snapple.
College sports provide a
heavy advertising focus for Cadbury Schweppes; Dr Pepper’s college
football sponsorships will extend into early 2005, while 7 Up sponsors
college basketball’s Championship Week and March Madness.
The Grammy Awards provide a major advertising and
sponsorship opportunity for 7 Up. “The Grammys are very involved in
schools, making music an important part of kids’ education and
we’ve helped to rally around that,” says Steve Jarmon, vice
president, marketing resources for Cadbury Schweppes Americas.
“We’ve done some special-edition cans featuring artwork by
Grammy artists, and we’re selling those on eBay and at retail.”
Additionally, 7 Up will promote its new 7 Up Plus
product in 2005, targeting female audiences with advertising that features
Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa from “Live with Regis and Kelly,”
and actresses Kristin Davis and Cynthia Nixon from “Sex and the
City.” 7 Up Plus combines 7 Up, fruit juice, calcium and vitamin C.
“Snapple also has a big year planned,”
Jarmon says. “We’ve got a big diet push in the first quarter
where we’re giving away a lot of Volkswagen Beetles tied to our diet products. We also have
new television advertising breaking with a new tagline that will be coming in January.” BI
I want to hear from you. Tell me how we can improve.
The February 2020 issue dives into Essentia water, their high-pH and high aspirations for ongoing innovation. Speaking of innovation, this issue also features a special report on how (and why) the zero-proof functional beverage market is growing. Also, check out what types of rifts and shifts are shaking up the wine category and discount variety stores, as well as the latest ingredient highlights (hint: exotic fruits make an appearance). To cap it off, peruse new product releases, the latest appearances in packaging, and holistic approaches to cognitive health. Thirsty for more? Subscribe to get the latest stories delivered right to your inbox.
Check back throughout the month for additional content.
Check back throughout the month for additional content.