Fanta may want its consumers to be “Less Serious,” but the bright and bubbly soda brand is very serious about unleashing its most unified and largest global marketing program to date aimed directly at teens and moms.
The “Less Serious” campaign first launched in 2007 and has shown enough promise to now encompass regions representing 90% of the brand’s global sales volume. The program offers flexibility with three distinct marketing focuses—communicating taste, the less serious attitude, or new product news—for each market to customize its own program. Each focus delivers a consistent message with new vibrant, animated characters to communicate that Fanta is fun, cool, and mischievous with a splash of sarcasm. The program debuted last night with a TV spot on “American Idol,” and includes print, out-of-home, mobile ringtones, websites, digital banners and promotional retail programs.
Bill Gray, director, global Fanta brand and Stephen Seabolt, senior brand manager Fanta, Coca-Cola North America, share the details on what’s happening at retail—and other tidbits—from across the globe.
PROMO: The campaign must be successful since you are expanding it on a global scale. How did you determine the success and decide it was a strong enough program to expand?
GRAY: Fanta “Less Serious” has been very well received by consumers globally since its launch and the Fanta brand continues to grow around the world. Global testing underscored the effectivness of the campaign with excellent score results among teens in Latin America, North America, Europe, Eurasia, Africa, and Asia Pacific.
PROMO: How are you executing at retail?
GRAY: We’re executing with point-of-sales materials and promotional programs.
PROMO: How do the in-store executions vary by market or country?
GRAY: They vary based on individual channels, customer, regulatory, and promotional needs. For example: some countries have more traditional—mom and pop—format outlets that are smaller than modern grocery outlets. These outlets will use smaller format P-O-P and front- of-store posters versus large header cards and custom display pieces.
PROMO: And in the U.S.?
SEABOLT: For the U.S. market, we will create flexible P-O-P tools that can be used in the wide variety of retail formats, including grocery, drug, mass, value, convenience retail, and smaller independent retailers.
PROMO: How many different versions of in-store materials will you roll out?
GRAY: Each IMC—"Bounce," "Chase," "Orange vision"—have their own individual set of in-store materials for markets to choose and or use to develop their own custom materials.
SEABOLT: The main P-O-P materials include pole signs, shelf talkers, case cards, static clings to communicate in the beverage aisle, free-standing displays, or those for the cold vault. We will also develop larger display materials, including inflatables and banners, to communicate in store lobbies during key promotional periods like Halloween.
PROMO: How do you sell the program to retailers?
SEABOLT: We partner closely with our key retailers to understand their business objectives and their specific shopper needs. We build ongoing relationships with these key retailers to ensure that our Fanta programs are meeting their objectives and have impact with shoppers.
PROMO: Is it difficult to get retailer buy in?
GRAY: We have good relationships with our customers and we consistently work together to find in-store solutions that drive business.
PROMO: Will you be able to increase shelf space?
SEABOLT: The materials to support the new campaign are only just now being deployed in market so it is too early to provide any details.
PROMO: What metrics are you using to determine the success of the global campaign?
GRAY: We are constantly evaluating all of our marketing efforts by consumer research. We look at brand health metrics that measure how consumers feel about the brand and their purchase intent.
PROMO: Are you using social media to drive retail sales?
GRAY: Fanta has developed a global website platform—via Fanta.com—ensuring that wherever teens go in the digital/mobile landscape they will see the same encouragement to be ‘less serious’ and spread this message to their friends. This global platform allows for a consistent web presence at the local level all accessible through Fanta.com. This is also supported through social media including a Facebook page, Twitter handle as well as downloadable wallpaper and ringtones.