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Offering the "Reborn Digital" a Taste

Pepsi Markets New Tava Drink

— March 16, 2008 — Marketing
Pepsi has taken a note from the world of fashion in designing the campaign for their latest beverage brand, Tava.

The decidedly retro ad campaign looks as though it was inspired by a blend of pin-up style imagery and older Japanese art. The sparkling, zero calorie drink comes in a bevy of exotic flavours like Brazilian Samba and Mediterranean Fiesta and Tahitian Tamure.

An interesting aspect of the campaign is that they're not targeting youth like you'd think with a viral internet campaign. They're targeting both men and women between 35 to 49.

They've also entirely skipped advertising on TV or in print, launching the entire campaign online and trying the WOM approach with a series of promotional events. They want to give this middle aged demographic a literal taste of the new brand.

"There used to be an assumption this target was not online," says Frank Cooper, Pepsi's VP for flavored carbonated soft drinks. "But there's a group in that category that's 'reborn digital.' They've lived through the change and learned to adapt to it."

"This consumer spends significant time online, although what they do may differ from the younger consumer," Cooper said. "They're not I.M.-ing their friends; they're looking at e-mail or looking up information about travel, music, food."

“To build trust between a consumer and a brand, people need to feel they're sharing it with other people instead of a corporation pushing it down on them,” Cooper added. “The goal is to have people experience the product on their own terms and turn them into brand ambassadors.”

In addition to launching tava.com and popping on on banner ads around the web, they're giving out free sample in stores, at events like Sundance as well as directly mailing samples to employees of influential companies like MTV, Google and Apple and Bliss Spa. They'll also keep celebs hydrating while shooting for shows like General Hospital.
Trend Themes
1. Retro Ad Campaigns - Disruptive innovation opportunity to target middle-aged customers who are 'reborn digital' with retro or vintage ad campaigns instead of viral internet campaigns.
2. WOM Advertising - Disruptive innovation opportunity to build trust between consumers and a brand by incorporating word-of-mouth (WOM) advertising instead of a corporation pushing ads down on them through TV or print.
3. Promotional Sampling Events - Disruptive innovation opportunity to target middle-aged customers with promotional sampling events like offering free samples in stores, at events, and mailing them to influential companies, instead of using traditional advertising methods.
Industry Implications
1. Beverage Industry - Disruptive innovation opportunity for beverage companies to target middle-aged customers and adopt advertising strategies that align with the digital age.
2. Marketing Industry - Disruptive innovation opportunity for marketing companies to shift from traditional advertising methods to more experiential marketing approaches, such as promotional sampling events.
3. Entertainment Industry - Disruptive innovation opportunity for entertainment companies to leverage promotional sampling events to build brand awareness and expand their customer base through influential companies and celebrities.
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