Sprite Launches First Integrated Global Marketing Campaign ‘Hit Event’

Coca-Cola unveils first consistent global advertising platform for its $20 billion Sprite brand. ‘Heat Happens’ will launch in 200 markets with a new Sprite logo and visual identity. The historic campaign was created from scratch by the Open X team at WPP.

No matter where you are in the world, you’ll soon be hearing that the cold Sprite is the antidote to “when the heat hits”. Sprite’s new campaign, which debuts in the US and India this month, says the world is hotter than ever, both physically and mentally. The best way to keep cool is to open up your Sprites following a new campaign. This campaign covers all 200 markets and territories where soft drinks are available.

This historic effort is the first global brand platform for Coca-Cola’s second-largest trademarked brand. It’s also the first effort made entirely by WPP’s new network Open X team. Coca-Cola’s $4 billion business was the most fiercely contested account win of 2021. WPP was selected as the winner in November.

Sprite’s packaging is also undergoing a facelift worldwide. This includes a new logo, simplified graphics and an emphasis on sustainability. Specifically, Sprite is phasing out recognizable green plastic bottles for clear bottles that are easy to recycle. The bottle also has a call-to-action that reads “Recycle me.”

“This new approach to marketing and packaging will go a long way toward delivering a consistent consumer experience globally,” said Shrenik Dasani, Sprite’s Global Brand Director, in an interview with Drum.

Sprite’s unified campaign follows last year’s global launch of “Real Magic” for Coca-Cola’s Coke brand.

Coca-Cola will not quantify the increased marketing spend behind the brand other than to say it matters. Overall, Sprite is the beverage giant’s top priority as the $20 billion brand continues to see significant growth. For example, brand Sprite dollar sales in the US market increased 8% in 2021 and 18% through March 2022, according to Beverage Digest. “It’s one of the biggest and most important brands,” said Duane Stafford, editor of Beverage Digest. “Coca-Cola, Sprite, and Fanta are the three biggest companies.”

Coca-Cola targets Generation Z with social media ‘hit hack’

Coca-Cola wants to build on Sprite’s strong momentum by targeting Gen Z with fun and relatable ads. The TV commercial has “moments of passion” where Sprite helps keep the protagonist cool. In one place, an older sister resists breaking her younger brother’s banjo. In another example, concert goers make a wise decision not to stand in line. One outdoor advertisement read “Wi-fi out. Wi-me and Wi-now?” Another: “When he said five and 45 minutes ago.”

Previously, Sprite had positioned the product as an ideal post-workout refresher for sports. NBA stars Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and most recently Trae Young have served as the face of the brand. Now, Dasani says, “beyond the physical environment, we can expand our opportunities to engage with consumers and provide them with reassurance in these moments.” “We believe that Gen Z consumers are living in a world that is hotter than ever.”

Real-time social media marketing using ‘hit hacks’ will be the centerpiece of the campaign. This includes offers for special concerts and events. Sprite is also launching an on-pack rewards program where fans can discover ways to beat the ‘heat’ of everyday life, whether at home or on the go.

Other notable changes: Increased focus on Sprite Zero Sugar with bold black fonts on the packaging compared to the original Sprites with white fonts. “Testing shows that it’s easier for people to find what they’re looking for,” Dasani says. Consumers will also notice a “Bing-Bing-Bing” jingle added to the end of most TV commercials and video content.

Overall, the new effort is “focused on what we believe to be the truth of the Gen Z lifestyle,” Dasani says. “Our ambition is to engage Generation Z and recruit them into a weekly ritual that consumes Sprite.”

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