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Can This Viral Marketing Campaign Get Guys to Drink More Water?

Can This Viral Marketing Campaign Get Guys to Drink More Water?

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The startup has only spent $600 on marketing and has seen more than 1.7 million views on Facebook.

Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.

There’s no denying it—the food industry heavily relies on marketing and advertising to sway us into reaching for something that usually isn’t the best option.

But one creative startup brand is trying to use cheeky advertising to sway energy-drink customers away from their luminescent green beverages toward something with a lot more health benefits: water.

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That’s the idea behind Liquid Death. The brand, which was created by Mike Cessario as a side project to his advertising day job, garnered a lot of attention after a humorous ad went viral on Facebook. In the ad, an impressively fit woman, making direct eye contact with the camera (a lá the Old Spice ads) begins to pour an endless can of water, all while describing it as "the most extreme and dangerous beverage on Earth.”

That video has turned heads thanks to (at the time of this writing) more than 1.7 million views in less than two months, with just $600 of advertising revenue. Cessario told Adweek that Liquid Death is seeing more engagement with customers than brands like Monster and Red Bull.

It's an open question whether the viral video is turning into actual orders for the water—or whether consumers would be interested in buying it if it were widely available. Cooking Light reached out to Cessario, but he was unavailable for comment.

Getting consumers to make the conscious switch from energy drinks or other bottled soft drinks to plain water isn’t easy, but if Liquid Death could convince you to pick up a can of its spring water on a regular basis, the health benefits would be considerably noticeable.

Photo courtesy of Liquid Death / Facebook.

Many people already have a hard time meeting the recommended daily intake of water—which the USDA says is 3.7 liters for men and 2.7 liters for women, given that only 20% of that intake is supposed to come from food items.

Jamie Vespa, Cooking Light’s assistant nutrition editor, says that choosing Liquid Death over an energy drink like Red Bull would reap immense benefits. You’d save upwards of 120 calories for even the smallest can, a whopping 27g of sugar, plus avoid a list of additives like sodium citrate and taurine.

It’ll be interesting to see just how well Liquid Death enters this busy market, as a 12-pack of 16oz cans retail for $17.99 (which is just about 1.50 per bottle). That may be favorable to an energy drink, but you can buy a 6-pack of Smartwater 1-liter bottles for $7.99 on Amazon for comparison—and of course you can get it from your tap for mere pennies. While there’s clearly strong marketing here, would it be enough to have fans order more than just once—or shop for the brand in stores?

If you’re inclined to give Liquid Death a try, you can preorder your water here—the brand is planning to ship later this spring and is trying to partner with distributors like 7-Eleven later this year.

Have we had our fill of water?

O ver the last few weeks, those who visited the British Medical Journal's website might have noticed an advert for a new public health initiative, Hydration for Health. It is sponsored by Danone – which owns the Evian, Volvic and Badoit bottled water brands – and urges healthcare professionals to encourage people to drink more water, claiming that "evidence is increasing that even mild dehydration plays a role in the development of various diseases".

Margaret McCartney, a GP and columnist, saw these adverts and complained about it, writing an article for the BMJ (who admitted "we hadn't followed our own guidelines. The advertisement bypassed our editorial checks") about the lack of evidence – and citing the shortcomings of many studies – that people should be drinking more water. "I prefer to get my health information from unbiased sources rather than people with vested interests," she says. The idea that we should drink eight glasses of water a day is expounded, among others, by the NHS Choices website. "This is not only nonsense," writes McCartney, "but thoroughly debunked nonsense."

But you can see the drive to get people to drink more water in other places, too. In the Royal College of Nursing's "hydration toolkit", its best practice guidance – produced, incidentally, in conjunction with Water UK, which works on behalf of the water industry – it makes the sensational claim that by drinking water you "will also be helping to protect yourself against three of the biggest killer cancers [bowel, breast and prostate]". Much further down the report, and far less noticeable, it states, "the benefits of good hydration to protect against cancer have not been well studied and the current findings are considered to be inconclusive".

Many of us have been led to believe that the more we drink, the healthier we will be. At the weekend, in his column for the Sunday Times, Dominic Lawson outed his sister Nigella as an "aquaholic", drinking several litres a day. Several newspapers followed this up this week by interviewing women who drank excessive amounts of water thinking they were doing themselves good – one, Joanne Jarvis, interviewed by the Daily Mail, was hospitalised after drinking 11 litres over four hours.

When did we become so fearful of dehydration? Schoolchildren are encouraged to take bottles of water into classrooms and sip them throughout the day. Peer into most meeting rooms in the country and you will see bottles of water planted on the table in front of executives, as if they fear that the slightest dehydration will impair them in some way. At the gym, people replenish water as fast as they sweat it out.

A few years ago, Stanley Goldfarb, professor of medicine and a kidney specialist at the University of Pennsylvania, noticed a strange phenomenon. "People were dragging around big bottles of water with them and drinking all the time and I thought: 'What are they doing?'"

He says on the phone from his office in Philadelphia: "Since we have a perfectly good system to alert us if we need water, why would you need to subvert that by drinking in a prophylactic way?" He reviewed the scientific literature on the health benefits of drinking a lot of water, identifying the four recurrent themes that were put about by those who advocated it.

"One was that water improves your skin," he says. "We showed there was no scientific basis for that. The second myth is that drinking water is an aid to diets and would reduce your appetite. That has been carefully studied and it doesn't. If you flavour the water, that will suppress your calorific intake during the subsequent meal, but nobody has shown that it suppresses it over 24 hours. When you finish the meal and you didn't eat enough calories, you're going to be hungry, and you'll eat later. We said there really is no evidence that going on a water-drinking campaign will lead you to lose weight."

The third myth he looked at is that drinking water flushes more toxins out of your body. "All it does is increase the volume of your urine, but it doesn't change the material in the urine. The last issue that people have advocated is that water can control headaches. It was not substantiated."

When we need water, he says, the brain releases a hormone "in response to dehydration that tells the kidney to reduce its excretion of water. This hormone is suppressed whenever there is more water than the body needs, and the kidney immediately unleashes its ability to excrete water, which is dramatic. The body has this system for regulating amounts of water. The way you're told to drink water is you become thirsty, and you become thirsty well before there's any impairment that dehydration might induce."

Elderly people may have an impaired thirst sensation and need to be reminded to drink, he says. "The other group that needs to drink a lot of water are people who suffer from kidney stones, because it has been shown to reduce the risk of kidney stones. But other than that, there is very little evidence that drinking a lot of water is useful."

Neil Turner, professor of nephrology at the University of Edinburgh, and president of Kidney Research UK, says: "Nobody who is in reasonable health needs to have any concern about drinking enough water because their body will tell them." Drinking too much can be harmful, but this is rare. "The times people can be caught out is if they suddenly drink a huge amount of water. The ones that have come to public attention have been related to people running marathons who overdrink, or people drinking water with ecstasy because of the worry about dehydration."

The well-publicised death of the British teenager Leah Betts in 1995 was caused by the huge amount of water she drank after taking an ecstasy pill. In 2007, David Rogers, a fitness instructor, suffered hyponatraemia – water intoxication – and died after drinking too much water after his first London marathon. "It dilutes the things that are normally in blood, particularly sodium, and that is associated with having fits and passing out. But this would have to be extreme drinking it's not something that people drinking ordinarily have to worry about."

According to the European Food Safety Authority, healthy adult women need two litres a day, and men around 2.5litres. We get around 20% of our water from food. "What people don't realise is that even dry food such as cheese contains a fair amount of water – about a third by weight," says Catherine Collins, spokesperson for the British Dietetic Association. "And obviously fruit and vegetables are virtually all water." Tea, coffee, juice and milk all count towards the total – it is a myth, she says, that tea and coffee are diuretics if you are accustomed to caffeine. Eat five portions of fruit and vegetables a day as a part of a balanced diet, and drink when you're thirsty, and you will meet your water needs, she says. "Our kidneys are exquisitely poised to retain fluid if we are getting dehydrated. [Bottled water companies] are keen to exploit the idea that we are constantly balanced on a pinpoint between hydration and dehydration."

So where did the eight glasses a day idea come from? In his 2002 study debunking the 8x8 message – eight glasses, containing eight ounces (around 235ml) of water – Heinz Valtin, a kidney specialist at the Dartmouth Medical School in New Hampshire, traced it to an American nutritionist Frederick J Stare, and a passage in a 1974 book he co-wrote: "For the average adult, somewhere around 6 to 8 glasses per 24 hours and this can be in the form of coffee, tea, milk, soft drinks, beer, etc. Fruits and vegetables are also a good source of water."

Valtin writes: "Given Dr Stare's leading position in the field of nutrition, it is conceivable that 8x8 began with this apparently offhand comment." It could also have originated in a 1945 report from the Food and Nutrition Board of America's National Research Council, which advocated "one millilitre [of water] for each calorie of food.

Most of this quantity is contained in prepared foods. If an average person consumes around 2,500 calories, this translates to two and a half litres. The part about us getting a proportion of this naturally from our food was forgotten and the two litre message seems to have stuck.

It is this that the bottled water industry seized upon. Just look to the Natural Hydration Council – a body set up by the biggest producers Danone, Nestlé and Coca-Cola to promote sales of bottled water over sugary soft drinks, which curiously, they also own – and its tagline "you ought to drink more water". The Natural Hydration Council has recently been visiting NHS healthcare staff to extol the values of drinking water.

"What people don't need to do is take in two extra litres a day," says Goldfarb. "You're going to take in two litres a day based on your diet and thirst sensation. What [bottled water companies] are really asking people to do is take in four or five litres, because they're already taking in two or three as coffee, tea, soft drinks, fruit, alcoholic beverages – that's all water. This notion is a marketing ploy."

The market for bottled water started to take off in the 1980s. In the US, the Beverage Marketing Corporation published its first report into the bottled water market in 1983, while in the UK, the distinctive green glass bottles of Perrier became a yuppie dinner party cliche. In the 90s, small plastic bottles became more prevalent and celebrities were photographed with them. Bottled water became a lifestyle choice and a fashion accessory. Stars such as Jennifer Aniston claimed their "beauty secret" was several litres of water a day, and magazines advised to drink at least two litres of water to "flush out" toxins.

The market grew at an extraordinary rate. Today, around 56bn gallons of bottled water are sold every year, and the market is worth £25bn, with huge corporations owning many of the best-selling brands. In the UK, Nestlé owns Perrier, Buxton, Vittel, San Pellegrino, Acqua Panna and Nestlé Water. Danone has Volvic and Evian, and Coca-Cola owns Abbey Well under the Schweppes brand, and until it closed it down last year, Malvern water, the bottled water the Queen liked to take on her travels.

When the market became saturated, new products had to be different to stand out and "luxury waters" were launched. You can buy bottled Australian rain water (Cloud Juice) and water from Canadian glaciers (10 Thousand BC) that is, apparently, bottled to the sound of "inspirational music", because water has, according to the company, "a memory". Bling H2O, vying to be the most expensive water in the world, brought out a bottle covered in crystals for around £1,600 (even a simple small plastic bottle costs around £12). In its marketing, the company makes the unintelligible boast that its water is in "a Haute water bottle so beautiful that it could stand alone on the Global red carpets of the world [sic]." Restaurants started employing water sommeliers, and Claridge's hotel in London introduced a water menu, with tasting notes.

More water-based products came out, claiming to offer different benefits. Vitamin-enriched and flavoured waters took off, though many of these contained almost as much sugar as a can of fizzy drink, despite their "healthy" packaging. Penta water said it was "the only molecularly restructured water on the market", claiming to contain smaller water molecules that could hydrate our cells faster – it was swiftly demolished by Ben Goldacre in this newspaper. It disappeared from the UK, but is still sold in America, where its website states that it "may help improve longevity of life". There is another brand, HydraCoach – each bottle costs nearly £25 – that even calculates how much you have drunk through its special straw, and reminds you to drink more if too much time has elapsed.

The recession and a possible backlash caused by the considerable environmental concerns surrounding bottled water have seen sales drop. According to Mintel's new report on the bottled water market, UK sales went down 16% between 2006 and 2009, and again in 2010, though at a slower rate – this was thanks to heavy discounting – and the research analysts are not expecting sales to pick up until 2014. But whether our obsession with drinking water – bottled or tap – is evolving into something more sensible remains to be seen. Aquaholics, however, please take note. "The National Academy of Sciences in the United States did a very extensive study several years ago assessing water intake," says Professor Goldfarb. I can hear the smile in his voice. "Their executive summary was: drink when you're thirsty."

1. Tell a (True) Story About Your Product

Many product marketers fall into the trap of “selling the product, not the experience.” No one wants your product. No one wants any product. They want a solution to their problem.

Only talk about the benefits, features, and facts, and you’re missing out on glaring opportunities for engagement. When you discuss these, you only engage Broca’s and Wernicke’s area of the brain. These areas simply decode words into meaning. That’s it.

Tell a story, and the game changes. When you do, and especially when your story features a character and intense emotions, you engage much more of the brain. In fact, you can put the whole brain to work.

For example, the limbic system bustles with activity when you describe emotions like love, hate, joy, anger, or sadness. When you discuss a lavender or cinnamon smell, the olfactory cortex goes to work.

It’s easiest to communicate your product’s value in memorable ways through storytelling. A 2012 New York Times article sums up research by cognitive scientist Veronique Boulenger (and many others) which concludes the brain:

“…[D]oes not make much of a distinction between reading about an experience and encountering it in real life in each case, the same neurological regions are stimulated.”

How do stories work in product marketing?

In the early 1900s, prospects didn’t look good for Milwaukee brewer Schlitz. They ranked eighth among American brewers, and had little hope for growth.

They eventually hired Claude Hopkins (now one of the fathers of modern advertising), from Racine, Wisconsin’s J.L. Stack agency.

Every brewer at the time screamed about their beer’s “purity.” With no clarification of what “pure” meant, no brewer could top the other.

Hopkins wouldn’t do a thing to help Schlitz until he intimately understood their product and market. So, Schlitz gave him a tour of their brewery.

He was shown plate-glass rooms that dripped beer over pipes, which filtered air to purify the beer. Every pump and pipe got cleaned twice daily. And Schlitz sterilized each beer bottle at least four times. Finally, Hopkins saw 4,000-foot deep (wow!) artesian wells that provided the water. Schlitz tried 1,200 experiments to produce the mother yeast cell used for brewing.

So Hopkins’ first question was, ”Why in the heck don’t you tell your market you do this?”

Schlitz’s reply: “Every brewer does this. It’s no big deal.”

They were right. But Hopkins strongly advised Schlitz to advertise stories about this because no other brewer did. The stories would clarify “pure” for consumers.

So Hopkins created ads like these:

All they did was go from the eighth to number one American beer in just a few months.

The takeaway: Tell a story about your products, but don’t just make one up – involve your potential customers by taking them behind the scenes.

Guerrilla Marketing Pros and Cons

Guerrilla marketing has some advantages and disadvantages. Take both into consideration before choosing to move forward with a campaign.

Pros of Guerrilla Marketing

  • Cheap to execute. Whether using a simple stencil or a giant sticker, guerrilla marketing tends to be much cheaper than classic advertising.
  • Allows for creative thinking. With guerrilla marketing, imagination is more important than budget.
  • Grows with word-of-mouth. Guerrilla marketing relies heavily on word-of-mouth marketing, considered by many one of the most powerful weapons in a marketer’s arsenal. There’s nothing better than getting people to talk about your campaign on their own accord.
  • Publicity can snowball. Some especially noteworthy or unique guerrilla marketing campaigns will get picked up by local (and even national) news sources, resulting in a publicity powerhouse affect that marketers drool over.

Cons of Guerrilla Marketing

  • Mysterious messages can be misunderstood. There’s often an air of mystery to guerrilla marketing campaigns, and while it’s this sense of mystery that can often propel a campaign’s attention and notice, the lack of clarity can also skew audience interpretation.

Confusion associated with guerrilla marketing campaigns can have extreme implications, such as in 2007, when flashing LED circuit boards promoting a new animated series, Aqua Teen Hunger Force, were quietly installed around the city of Boston. The objects were mistaken for explosive devices, causing citywide panic as bomb squads were brought in to examine and remove the unknown devices.

The hired installers were even arrested for mounting “hoax devices,” but were later released. While it’d be easy to label this campaign as a disaster, the story got picked up on major media networks across the country, so despite whole ordeal, some would probably call it a success.

  • Authority intervention. Some forms of guerrilla marketing, such as non-permissioned street graffiti, can result in tension with authorities.
  • Unpredicted obstacles. Many guerrilla marketing tactics are susceptible to bad weather, thrown timing, and other small instances that could easily threaten to undermine an entire campaign.
  • Potential backlash. Savvy audiences may call out businesses who are implementing guerrilla marketing campaigns they don’t approve of. This is especially true of undercover marketing campaigns – if you’re caught, prepare to face the wrath.

There’s no doubt that guerrilla marketing can provide fantastic results while allowing marketers to exercise their creativity in a unique way, but it will only work for businesses who aren’t afraid of risk-taking.

What Are Examples of Bad Slogans?

For every great company slogan, there's one that doesn't quite land. The public either has backlash against these failed slogans, or turns them into a joke or hilarious meme.

The worst slogans of all time include:

  • 1. White Castle - Selling 'Em By the Sack
  • 2. Victoria's Secret - A Body for Every Body
  • 3. Dr. Pepper Ten - It's Not for Women
  • 4. AT&T - Reach Out and Touch Someone
  • 5. Under Armour - I Will
  • 6. American Express - Don't Live Life Without It
  • 7. Carlsberg - Probably the Best Beer in the World
  • 8. Volkswagen - Relieves Gas Pains
  • 9. Old Spice - Smell Better Than Yourself
  • 10. Hoover - It Beats as it Sweeps as it Cleans

White Castle - Buy 'Em By the Sack

There are many good food slogans out there, but White Castle should not consider itself a royal member of that list. Luckily, these days White Castle is marketing with a new, more refined product motto: "The Crave is a Powerful Thing."

Why it doesn't work: Brand slogans should elicit some kind of feeling. "Buy 'Em By the Sack," which is targeting White Castle's sliders, takes a step in the wrong direction as it's directed more toward the restaurant making money than making you feel hungry.

Victoria's Secret - A Body for Every Body

Following backlash from their "Perfect Body" campaign, Victoria's Secret changed up their slogan to "A Body for Every Body." However, they completely misread the point of the public's reaction by using the same photography.

Why it doesn't work: The perfect body is an unachievable standard, and people rightfully pushed back against this harmful mentality. Still, the imagery is here, so "A Body for Every Body" doesn't do much to squash that negative messaging.

Dr. Pepper Ten - It's Not for Women

While Dr. Pepper has been a delicious drink for over 100 years, they really fell flat with this sexist slogan. The ad launched in 2011 and featured a macho man telling women to "keep the romantic comedies and lady drinks." This is a diet soda for the men.

Why it doesn't work: There's obviously a lot wrong with this slogan. First, it's assuming that only women want or need diet drinks. Second, it suggests they can't buy Dr. Pepper Ten. Finally, it's strongly implied that men don't drink diet drinks at all, but now they can. Both demographics, men and women, are typecast and put into boxes by this one awful slogan.

AT&T - Reach Out and Touch Someone

This slogan was created in 1979 by ad agency N.W. Ayer. The idea was to communicate a feeling of connection, although that might have come across in a way that was creepier than intended.

Why it doesn't work: "Touch" is a word that has a double meaning - both physically and emotionally touch. Unfortunately, the emotional aspect isn't immediately clear at first glance.

Under Armour - I Will

There's a lot of competition in the world of athletic apparel, and Under Armour's solution was the "I Will" slogan which launched in 2013.

Why it doesn't work: Under Armour's slogan lacks any kind of definitive conclusion. I will… do what? Run an extra mile? Stop exercising? Buy products from Nike? There's too much room for interpretation and no jolting call to action.

American Express - Don't Live Life Without It

The American Express motto, "Don't Live Life Without It," implies you have no life if you're not using their credit card. While that's not what American Express meant to communicate, the real motivation behind their slogan isn't much better. They're trying to target the 57% of U.S. adults whose personal and professional lives are merged together.

Why it doesn't work: Those people whose work and play time are blurring are likely not all too thrilled about it. With that in mind, American Express is aligning itself with a stressed out population that has no free time.

Carlsberg - Probably the Best Beer in the World!overview

Carlsberg's slogan was first used in 1973 in a series of innovative ads. It's meant to read the way you might think of Ron Burgundy saying something's "kind of a big deal" in the movie Anchorman.

Why it doesn't work: You really need the context for this slogan to land. If not, it ends up reading as being unsure or maybe a little hesitant. Almost like "it's probably the best beer in the world" with a little shrug.

Volkswagen - Relieves Gas Pains

Simon "Si" Lam is a well-known advertising guru, but he took a weird turn with the "Relieves Gas Pains" campaign for Volkswagen. It just doesn't quite vibe with the brand, though it is a fun way to highlight the awesome mileage you can expect behind the wheel.

Why it doesn't work: Clearly, there's a sense of humor here and a play on words, which Volkswagen has used before in their adverts. The only trouble here is that this one might be a bit too lowbrow for the target audience.

Old Spice - Smell Better Than Yourself

The original "Smell Better Than Yourself" ad came out in 2011 and was used to promote Old Spice's deodorant, sprays, and body wash. It showed a sea captain and jet pilot smelling fresh, despite the rough waters and skies.

Why it doesn't work: This slogan is a real head-scratcher to say the least. How can you possibly smell better than yourself? As a whole, it's way too tough to wrap your head around this strange-sounding motto.

Hoover - It Beats as it Sweeps as it Cleans

The original commercial featuring this slogan made its debut in 1956. Some of the vacuums even came with the motto engraved right on the back of the cleaner.

Why it doesn't work: It's pretty difficult to pinpoint what exactly a Hoover is all about. There might be one verb too many in the slogan, and to top it all, it's not exactly catchy.

It's worth noting that major companies, like Dr. Pepper and Victoria's Secret, aren't the only ones who sometimes fumble on creating quality slogans.

You might see toy drive slogans in your local community with an odd message. Maybe there's a non-profit who has something weird to say in their slogan. Overall, there's a whole world out there that needs to choose their words carefully!


27. Michael Hyatt’s Book Campaign

What Is It?

Michael Hyatt is the author of Living Forward, a book about finding one’s life plan. There’s a print version, an eBook, and an audio book available. Oh, and a coloring book, too!

To engage his audience ahead of the book launch, Hyatt quizzed his Facebook fans about potential titles for the book.

Using Jeff Walker’s Product Launch Formula , Hyatt went on Facebook to try to get endorsements.

In all, 53 people endorsed him, including major names like Seth Godin, John Maxwell, Dave Ramsey, David Allen, and Tony Robbins.

What Sort of Results Did It Get?

With this campaign, Hyatt’s book immediately shot up on the bestseller list (it was the third most popular).

And within 7 days, people bought 20,000 copies of the book.

28. Marketo’s Virtual Event (Fueled by Their Social Media Campaign)

What Is It?

Automation company Marketo had just made LaunchPoint, a partner ecosystem. After a so-so live event that cost 5 figures, Marketo tried a virtual event instead.

Called “Good to Great—A Marketing Virtual Event,” Marketo got people interested in the event through email newsletters and social media promotion.

With 50,000 followers on Twitter and 30,000 on Facebook, Marketo had a huge audience to market to.

They used promoted Facebook posts, a social referral program, and an internal social program to do so.

What Sort of Results Did It Get?

The virtual event was extremely successful. People tweeted about the event 2,000 times, and Marketo got 10,115 fresh registrations .

29. CourseMinded’s Product Promotion Contest

What Is It?

Course-building resource CourseMinded was about to launch a new product.

Before they did that though, they sought to build up their email list by collecting 500 email addresses.

To do so, they did a giveaway . News of the giveaway was published on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and even Reddit.

What Sort of Results Did It Get?

CourseMinded more than met their goal, proving the power of a well-built social media campaign.

30. Jon Schumacher’s Virtual Summit Facebook Retargeting

What Is It?

Jon Schumacher held a virtual summit on how to host a webinar that makes money. He immediately got close to 3,000 registrations.

He also did Facebook retargeting, which was aimed at those who didn’t take advantage of the summit offer at its various price points and access levels.

What Sort of Results Did It Get?

The Facebook retargeting cost Schumacher about $100, yet he made nearly $1,200 for his efforts.

This just goes to show how far a few expertly-crafted retargeting ads can take you.

Inside Coca-Cola's Marketing Strategy

Francisco Crespo, SVP and chief growth officer at The Coca-Cola Company, doesn’t just provide stewardship for one of the world’s most highly valued brands. He guides the portfolio of different consumer brands that require what can be dramatically different marketing strategies.

I recently asked Francisco to illuminate parts of Coca-Cola’s strategic process.

Paul Talbot: What process do you use to insure your marketing strategies are in lockstep with your business objectives?

Francisco Crespo: It starts with ensuring we successfully identify where we have headroom to grow. We shouldn’t discard opportunities because there are hurdles. Sometimes, the obstacle is the path, with challenges we can overcome to create a competitive advantage.

There are three dimensions in this process. It starts with understanding consumer needs. What problem are they trying to solve? What outcome are they expecting? What are their key occasions, contexts and rituals?

Then we must establish what we call our Brand Edge, which is finding the reasons our brand solves consumer needs better.

Next is determining how will we collect the value we create. We have to understand not only consumer interaction but the incentives for the different players in the ecosystem, including retailers and our bottlers.

Talbot: When you evaluate a marketing strategy, what do you want to see and what don’t you want to see?

Crespo: Firstly, we want to see strategy versus tactics. There has always been a temptation for tactics to drive strategy or, worse, tactics appearing as a strategy. Tactics are important, but in our evaluation, we want to prioritize strategy ahead of tactics.

A clear strategy leverages Brand Edge to achieve objectives. It should have a seamless connection to consumer experiences and rituals. I don’t like to see strategy that uses observations as insights, objectives that are framed as strategy without substance or converging toward industry standards as opposed to pushing for something new.

Talbot: CEO James Quincey said, "The brand Coca-Cola will always be the heart and soul of the Coca-Cola Company, but the company has outgrown its core brand. The company needs to be bigger than our core brand." What issues need to be addressed in your marketing strategies to achieve this objective?

Crespo: We formerly applied the same playbook for every brand in our portfolio, treating all brands as Coca-Cola. We now use three different playbooks for a given brand, based on their place in the market: as a Leader, Explorer or Challenger.

Leaders, like Coke trademark, which includes all its variants, can collect value through premiumization if they continue to enhance their edge. That means if our market advantages are expanding, we earn the right to collect part of the value we are creating.

Explorers are smaller, disruptive brands that are experimenting in an evolving territory. They must be entrepreneurial, with clear edge compared to what consumers are currently using. So long as they grow faster than the category, they don’t have to answer the same questions as a leader brand.

When Explorers achieve a double-digit share of value in the market, they become Challengers. At this stage, they must sharpen areas their edge and consistently invest to surpass the current leaders.

Strong margins are associated with quality market leaders, and we need to build these in more spaces across the portfolio by mastering these three different playbooks.

Finally, we have to leverage our unique system to scale our proven recipes for success around the world faster.

Talbot: Any other insights on the role of marketing strategy you’d care to share?

Crespo: I have found that old-school marketers hide behind the idea that our industry is an art versus a science. They pretend art is vague, with no place for data-driven strategy.

I see in art perhaps the highest level of discipline. Artists are obsessed with practicing levels of discipline. They relentlessly repeat until an ultra-high standard is achieved. That is why their work lasts and is revered.

Our marketing has been event-driven. We have been hiring for reach and frequency while, in the future, we will need to hire for engagement and personalization.

Fortunately, Coca-Cola has built one of the most diverse systems in the world, including different types of retailers, digital players, content producers, media platforms, research companies, NGOs, local bottling partners and entertainment companies.

We have the means of leveraging this network in ways that will create new forms of value for consumers and partners well beyond our current imagination.

Make The Most Refreshing Drink Using Spritzer Sparkling Natural Mineral Water & Spritzer So Tinge! Carbonated Flavour Drink

Nothing beats a cold sip of water on a hot day but, what if there were something that also fizzes and freshens you up at the same time? Introducing Spritzer Sparkling Natural Mineral Water – this lightly carbonated water provides just the right amount of effervescent that fizzes with sparkles in every refreshing sip! And, the best part about this Sparkling Water is, you will not gain any extra weight as it is zero sugar, zero calories, and zero worries! It’s the perfect drink for upcoming CNY celebrations. Plus, it blends delightfully well with fruit punches and any specialty liquor. Talk about the endless beverage possibilities!

For those of you who prefer a little taste to your water, fret not because, Spritzer So Tinge! Carbonated Flavour Drink would be the perfect go-to for you! Comes in three (3) great flavours – Watermelon, Lemon, and Grape there are no artificial flavourings or colourings in these drinks! Now that you have the perfect ingredients to make the most refreshing drinks, check out these recipes below and wow your tastebuds!

Sparkling Turmeric Ginger Ale Recipe (Using Spritzer Sparkling Natural Mineral Water)


  • 2-3 inches ginger (grated)
  • 2 lemons
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 3 cups Spritzer Sparkling Natural Mineral Water

Step 1: Squeeze the grated ginger and lemons with a squeezer into a jar.

Step 2: Add honey and turmeric powder into the jar.

Step 3: Pour Spritzer Sparkling Natural Mineral Water and stir well.

Step 4: Pour into a glass filled with ice cubes.

Step 5: Decorate with rosemary leaves and sliced lemon.

Lychee Lemonade Recipe (Using Spritzer So Tinge! Carbonated Flavour Drink)


  • 6-7 lychees in syrup, with juice reserved with a bunch of mint leaves
  • 2-3 sliced lemon
  • Ice cubes
  • 2/3 glass of Spritzer So Tinge! Carbonated Flavour Drink (Watermelon)

Step 1: Muddle lychees (with juice) and mint leaves in a glass.

Step 2: Put in ice cubes, sliced lemon and mint leaves.

Step 3: Pour the Spritzer So Tinge! Carbonated Flavour Drink (Watermelon).

Step 4: Garnish with lychee and mint leaves.

Shop For All Your Beverage Needs On Spritzer Online

Now that online shopping is booming, you can also shop for all your beverage needs on the Spritzer website. To shop for Spritzer products, click here. They are now having their 88,888 Loyalty Points Giveaway and you can enjoy discounts from now until 10th Feb 2021. For more info, make sure to visit their website here.

We would like to invite you to join our New Private Community Group! Here you are free to ask questions, share your love for food, and explore the Klang Valley community! We will also regularly post about casual promos and latest findings.

Testing the Science of Sharing at the Super Bowl: Can Viral Ads Be Manufactured?

Screenshot of the Mekanism created Napster ad that put the creative agency on the map for creating "viral" campaigns.

In 2003, before Facebook and Twitter and YouTube, before Keyboard Cat and Charlie Bit My Finger and Justin Bieber, before viral wasn’t much more than a medical term, start-up ad agency Mekanism was approached by now defunct music-sharing service Napster about creating an advertising campaign centered on its relaunch.

The firm had yet to make an impact in the ad world — Napster was its first big client — so it wanted to try something bold. What they came up with was a series of ambitious, animated ads showing the Napster mascot escaping from jail, being revived in a hospital bed and preparing to rock out to hair metal.

The ads were an overnight success, eventually watched more than 2 million times, making them one of the very first viral hits in the Internet’s social-media infancy — to some extent, admits Mekanism president Jason Harris, because there wasn’t a lot of interesting online content competing with it.

Soon after, Microsoft came calling, hoping Mekanism could do the same for the software giant. “Microsoft said, ‘Well, aren’t you guys the viral guys? Can’t you just make it go viral? Just push a button and do whatever you do to make it happen,’” Harris says. The result: another highly successful campaign featuring a series of videos in which then up-and-coming comedian Demetri Martin searched for spiritual “clearification” — meant to portray Windows Vista’s ability to clear up a user’s desktop.

Of course, Mekanism didn’t have a viral button — and still doesn’t. But the firm has perhaps gotten as close as any to being able to manufacture viral content on demand. The agency has created dozens of campaigns over the past decade, featuring a claymation Eminem drinking Brisk Iced Tea, a surprisingly hilarious Charles Schwab (yes, Charles Schwab) giving strange and financially misguided folks money advice, and a trailer for Rise of the Planet of the Apes with an all-too-realistic primate firing an AK-47.

In fact, after years of trial and error, many advertising and marketing agencies now claim, like Mekanism, to have developed systematic — or at least reliable — approaches to creating massively shareable advertising content.

While not all firms are convinced that virality can be manufactured, as it were, some believe there’s a science to it. Yesterday’s Super Bowl, for which more ads than ever before were designed to be shared online, was a laboratory for their theories. But now comes the real test: after spending $3.8 million to run 30-second commercials, advertisers are no longer satisfied unless their messages resonate on social networks long after the game is over.

Predicting Virality

The idea that one could anticipate, with any degree of precision, the extent to which a particular video will go viral might seem as far-fetched as predicting which new pop song will become the next megahit or which tech start-up will be the next Facebook. But a company called Unruly Media thinks it has figured it out. In the run-up to the Super Bowl, the advertising world’s biggest night, London-based Unruly began marketing what it calls an algorithmic tool for predicting the “shareability” of video content. “This is the holy grail as far as advertising is concerned,” claims Unruly founder and COO Sarah Wood.

What Unruly does is run sophisticated focus groups in which test-panel participants watch client videos while hooked up to biometric machines that measure psychological and emotional responses through changes in heart rate, eye movements, facial gestures and even skin moisture. It then takes those responses and compares them with benchmarks developed through studies conducted with the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute for Marketing Science. These studies determined, for example, that videos eliciting a strong emotional reaction are twice as likely to be shared — via e-mail, Facebook or Twitter — than those with low emotional responses and those that trigger “positive” emotions are 30% more likely to be shared than those that elicit other responses.

“If brands want to get people sharing their content, the most important thing they need to do is make an emotional connection,” explains Wood. “They want to make content that gets people laughing out loud or sends shivers down their spine or has their hair standing up on the back of their neck.”

Unruly also found that social motivations play a significant role. We often share a video because it addresses an interest we have in common with a friend, as a form of self-expression, and even for altruistic reasons — think of the success of the viral Kony 2012 video, for example.

For clients, Unruly combines all this information into what it calls a ShareRank, which Wood says can accurately predict the social success of a video. She hopes advertisers will use the system to test advertising content before it’s launched.

“It’s a really exciting time for brands that are genuinely interested in knowing why people are sharing their content,” says Wood, who plans on putting this year’s Super Bowl commercials through the tests to get a sense of what makes this year’s popular ads shareable.

But Unruly isn’t the only outfit applying scientific approach to viral videos. Thales Teixeira, a professor at Harvard Business School, has been doing similar research over the past few years. Using eye- and face-tracking tests, Teixeira has discovered that consumers have an unconscious aversion to forceful brand images that they seek strong emotional changes that alternate between high and low intensity and that they tend to share videos that are surprising but not shocking, largely because we don’t know how a shocking video will be received.

He’s also developed a theory that he calls — using a term borrowed from biology — advertising symbiosis. His point, in essence, is that the most successful ads are mutually beneficial for both advertisers and consumers — even though the two groups don’t have the same interests. “The consumer is not interested in helping the company,” says Teixeira. “If the consumer shares an ad, it’s in a very self-interested matter.”

Art, Not Science

Other viral-video creators, however, dismiss the idea that virality can be reduced to a formula.

Jason Norcross is the executive creative director and partner at 72andSunny, an ad agency that’s one of the industry’s leading viral-content makers. The firm created the popular K-Swiss ads featuring Eastbound & Down’s Kenny Powers and last year produced the spot for the Samsung Galaxy S III that gently pokes fun at the legions of Apple fans who stand in line for the company’s heralded product releases.

He says what 72andSunny does isn’t science but art — the result of original thinking, carefully tuned sensibilities and gut instinct.

Norcross says the parameters and metrics cited by Teixeira and Unruly Media don’t even cross his mind when he’s working on an ad campaign. Indeed, many of his firm’s successful viral ads clearly violate the guidelines. Just look at the viral Samsung ad, in which the mobile phone’s brand and name were ubiquitous. “Why that was successful had a lot to do with going after Apple very openly,” says Norcross. “No one had ever done that.”

Norcross’s skepticism about engineering viral videos basically comes down to the irreducibility of true creativity — and the near impossibility of summoning inspiration on demand. “Look, you can do search-engine optimization, p.r. outreach, Facebook, all sorts of algorithms I don’t know anything about,” he says. “But if you want to have Brian Williams do an NBC Nightly News story and feature your ad campaign, I don’t know if you can engineer that. It’s almost like saying, ‘We’re going to make a hit.’ Well, you can’t guarantee that.”

‘Everyone Hates Advertising’

Don’t tell that to Mekanism’s Harris. After the firm’s successful Microsoft campaign, in 2006, Harris says, the firm soon realized that more companies would come looking for a viral hit. “We figured that if people are going to come to us and expect millions of views, we have to back up and figure out a strategy.”

The firm starts with a set of guidelines it calls its Nine Lessons from Epic Wins and Epic Fails. Among them: There’s no such thing as an accidental viral hit. Everyone hates advertising. Start with a simple human truth. Create a memorable story. A great title is everything.

After it uses these principles to develop a piece of content, however, it doesn’t leave things to mere chance. Instead, it relies on network of about 500 online “influencers” — each with a sizable social-media following of his or her own — to tweet, “Like” and discuss the advertising campaigns it creates. A single mention from one of these influencers could earn a video thousands of hits within minutes.

“You have to have the strategy of bringing your friends along, but then you have to have great creative and fundamentally believe that everyone hates advertising, but everyone loves entertainment,” Harris says.

For this year’s Super Bowl, Mekanism was handed one of the biggest responsibilities of the night: creating the Pepsi ad that immediately preceded Beyoncé’s halftime extravaganza, itself sponsored by Pepsi. The assignment, probably the biggest and most complicated Mekanism ever took on, involved narrowing down 100,000 user-generated photos to the 300 that were eventually included in the 30-second spot.

Of course, there’s something ironic about a firm that made its name creating ads that generate their own audience suddenly being handed the biggest audience in the world — 114 million people watched Madonna’s Super Bowl halftime performance last year, which averaged more viewers than the game itself. But that giant stage doesn’t guarantee that Mekanism’s ad will have a cultural shelf life after the game. Some 60 ads will be shown during Sunday’s game, and only a few will get the full digital water-cooler treatment in the days and weeks that follow.

But considering Mekanism’s track record, its Pepsi spot has a sporting chance. “You still never know whether something will go viral,” says Harris. “There’s still the unknown. But over the past six years, we feel like we know the ingredients to put in the stew.”

39 Canned Cocktails That Prove Booze Is Better In A Can

I've said it before and I'll say it again: Alcoholic beverages just taste better out of an Instagrammable aluminum can. It's a fact. And while canned wine has been having a moment, ready-to-drink cocktails are *so* much better&mdashand boozier! From aperol spritz to mimosas, here are our favorites that will get you through the rest of this year and well into next.

Bacardi's Real Rum Canned Cocktails' new "Tropical Trio" includes a Mojito, a Bahama Mama, and a Sunset Punch flavor (each made with a five percent ABV!). Sold in slim 335-milliliter cans, both the Mojito and Bahama Mama offerings can be purchased in four-packs at select retailers nationwide. The Sunset Punch flavor, however, is only available as an exclusive inclusion in the six-packs now on sale.

If you're looking for the perfect canned cocktail to give you the summer feeling all year long, Miami Cocktail Company has got exactly what you need. Offered in five deliciously addictive flavors (Bellini, Mimosa, Paloma, Margarita, and Sangria), each of the organic spritzers has just 110 calories and offers up a 4.2 percent ABV. Packed with a sweet aroma and drool-worthy taste to match, these refreshing cocktails&mdashwhich are sold in 4-packs for $12.99&mdashgo down as some of the best I've ever had. You can buy them here to see what all the hype is about.

The bourbon you know and love is now available in mixed drink canned cocktails including a Ginger Highball and Classic Highball. The new releases come in at 5 percent ABV each and are available as a four-pack or as single 355ml slender cans at select retailers nationwide.

If you plan on indulging in any brunch picnics this summer, you'll want to consider these canned mimosas. They're made with sustainably produced Italian wine and organic Californian orange juice. Better yet, you won't have to lug an entire bottle of champagne and orange juice around. You can buy it here.

The beloved tequila brand just launched a new line of hard seltzers that are spiked with real Plata tequila. So far there are two flavors, Lime and Mango, and they both come in 12-oz cans, have a 5 percent ABV, and a suggested retail price of $11.99 per four-pack. They'll be rolling out in stores starting this week so keep an eye out!

This new flavor will replace Truly's orange flavor and mixes together some of your favorite citrus flavors, like lime, grapefruit, and, yes, orange, together! Shop for it here.

Everybody's fave hard lemonade is now available in a canned spiked seltzer! This drink still has a strong lemonade flavor but is only 100 calories a can and is deliciously carbonated. It's available in a 12-can variety pack with four flavors: lemon, strawberry, pineapple, and mango. You can buy it here.

After the year we've all had, we can forget about Dry January. And what better way to do that than with this 31-pack of canned cocktails from F!VE DRINKS CO? There's a can for every day of the month. It includes Moscow Mules, Margaritas, Mojitos, Palomas, and more. Plus, it only costs $20.21. get it? You can buy it for a limited-time through the brand's website here.

Fancy a coffee-flavored cocktail to go with your after-dinner dessert? Consider Cutwater's canned White Russian if a 14 percent ABV and vodka mixed with a coffee cream liqueur that has notes of vanilla and chocolate sounds like a combo you'd be into. You can buy it from sites like Drizly or send the brand an email to be steered in the right direction.

Did you know sparkling tequila is a thing?? Onda makes cans of the drink with blanco tequila from Jalisco, Mexico, and uses real fruit juice for its classic lime and tart grapefruit flavors. Each can contains five percent ABV, has zero sugars and carbs, and is only 100 calories. You can buy it online or order through sites like Drizly and Minibar.

The ginger-centric brewing company Reed's released a zero-sugar classic Moscow mule in a can, and it'll be your next go-to. It's made with fresh ginger, of course, and has a seven percent ABV. You can drink it straight from the can or easily pour it into a copper mug and enjoy in seconds. You can buy it here.

You are, of course, quarantining as strictly as possible upon returning from any trips you may have taken this summer, yeah? OK, great! F!VE DRINKS CO. wants to reward you for doing such a good job at self-isolating that they've created this "14-Day Quarantine Pack" of canned cocktails just for you. The packs (which you can purchase here while supplies last) is made up of the following super fun drinks: Gin & Tonic, Margarita, Paloma, Moscow Mule, Mojito and Watermelon Vodka Soda.

This can holds 12 drinks full of margarita so you can bring the party along with you. It's made with blue weber agave tequila, fresh lime juice, premium orange liqueur, and a bit of spice. It is also shelf-stable for months with a resealable lid, so the perfect marg is just a pour away. You can buy it here.

This genius newcreation from Kahlua is made with rum and coffee liqueur and boasts a 4.5 percent ABV. Per Kahlua's site, it tastes like coffee through and through, meaning it's, uh, the perfect Friday (morning) beverage? Stay tuned for this product's intro to major retailers. For now, you'll have to double up on their canned espresso martinis.

Crook & Marker makes spiked seltzers, lemonades, teas, and sodas, so you really have your pick when you see these at the liquor store. They're all low in sugar and calories, and have around four percent ABV.

It's not every day you see whiskey-based drinks included in the canned cocktail aisle, but Boulder, CO-based Cocktail Squad makes that possible. These also come in Greyhound, Margarita, Gin & Tonic, Vodka Soda, and Bourbon Smash, and clock in around 10 percent ABV.

These sparkling cocktails come in whatever your go-to bar drink is: Sparkling Moscow Mule, Sparkling Cosmopolitan flavors, Vodka Soda, Gimlet, and more.

Popular beer-maker (and frat fave) Pabst Blue Ribbon has released a can of coffee infused with alcohol. Before you get it twisted, no, this is not a coffee-flavored beer but instead, the drink is made with a "rich, creamy milk and vanilla flavor." Oh, and it's got a five percent ABV.

Fans of Bravo's Summer House will know this canned hard iced tea drink created by stars Amanda Batula and Kyle Cook. It comes in sweet flavors like White Tea Peach and Hibiscus Pom that don't contain any sugar and are only 90 calories.

Azulana, which the brand says is the first sparkling tequila beverage made 100 percent from blue agave, is available in three flavors: Original, Lime and Pineapple Rosemary. With a 4.3 ABV, the slightly sweet stuff is the perfect way to usher in fall.

This new female-founded, owned, and run cocktail company is all about fragrant sparkling drinks. Made with natural botanical essences, Two Chicks is keeping things simple with an introductory line of three beverages, including Paloma (Tequila & Grapefruit), Vodka Fizz (Vodka, Pear & Elderflower), and Citrus Margarita (Tequila & Citrus).

The water comes straight from the St. Vrain Creek in Colorado (!), has 0 grams of sugar (!!), and is under 100 calories (. ).

Your fav lemonade iced tea hybrid just got a whole lot boozier. It's got the same light, refreshing taste we all know and love, but packs a 5 percent ABV.