Focus – UK: GSK lines up drinks launches, ups Lucozade spend
Lucozade, Ribena get marketing push
GlaxoSmithKline will double marketing spend on Lucozade Sport and launch new juice drinks as part of a multi-million pound investment in soft drinks in 2010.
The firm will invest around GBP34.5m (US$54m) behind its Ribena and Lucozade brands in 2010.
Following the launch of Strawberry flavour Ribena last year, the firm will begin selling a Raspberry version in April.
Available in a 500ml bottle and 288ml carton, Ribena Raspberry will receive GBP1.5m of investment, which will include a fully integrated marketing campaign involving in-store promotions, sampling and social media through March and April.
New packaging will appear from this month for the whole Ribena range and a television advert, highlighting the heritage of the berry growers it uses, will form part of the push for the entire range. GSK has previously pushed its strong links to British blackcurrant growers.
A further addition for the Ribena range was the announcement of a new sub-category – Juiced Up.
Targeted towards school children, the juice drink is made from 85% natural fruit juices and 15% water, GSK said. It will be available in two flavours; apple and blackcurrant, and raspberry.
Both products will appear in 180ml wedge-shaped tetra cartons and will initially be available only in foodservice from March. A digital campaign will accompany the launch.
For the fourth quarter of 2009, GSK saw Lucozade profits impacted by lower sales in the ‘impulse’ segment of the UK market, dropping 2% to GBP86m. Sales were down 3% to GB376m for the period, to the end of December.
For Lucozade Sport, GSK has made an addition to the brand, with the launch of Lucozade Sport Lite, a low calorie version of the sports drink designed to appeal to “everyday exercisers” and “social sports participants”.
GSK is throwing GBP3.5m behind the launch in the form of a television commercial to debut on 5 April, a national sampling campaign, a digital campaign and sponsorship.
The 50 calorie product will be available in two flavours; Summer Berry and Lemon and Lime.
Chris Rodi, group brand manager for Lucozade Sport, told attendees at GSK's annual Soft Drinks Live event yesterday (16 February): “Many people who exercise don’t purchase or consume a sports drink because of calorie content. To meet consumer demand for a low calorie sports drink we developed Lucozade Sport Lite. It contains less calories than other sports drinks on the market and is designed to help amateurs to achieve personal goals.”
A further GBP5m is being spent on the Lucozade brand in a bid to help boost sales of its energy shots Alert Plus drink.
GSK will debut a television advert for the shot to appear from 16 March with the tagline ‘Sharpen up in a shot’, which the firm says is on a par with the Cadbury gorilla ad and the famous Tango ads.
The ad will also sponsor ‘The Mentalist’, a television programme set to begin a new series on Friday (February 19).
In addition, GSK will spend GBP15m to promote the Lucozade Sport brand.
“We are spending twice the amount of advertising on Sport, and with so many more competitors entering the sports category, we really need to up our game,” Rodi said. “Over the last three or four years, we have had more and more sports drinks talking about health credentials. In order for us to win we need to become the most credible.”
A sponsor of the England football team for the World Cup 2010, the campaign will include ITV sponsorship, outdoor advertising featuring Steven Gerrard, a digital campaign, as well as an on-pack promotion offering “one million England prizes” including shirts, caps and flags.
Finally, Lucozade Energy will receive a GBP10m investment in a new on-pack promotion “Win and adventure everyday”.
Kicking off from 1 March nationwide, the promotion runs across the entire Energy portfolio for 90 days and offers consumers an opportunity to win one ten possible “adventures” from husky racing and hang gliding, to trekking through the Sahara Desert, and circumnavigating the Cayes of Belize.
The promotion will be supported by TV, cinema and radio advertising to kick off from 15 March. It will appear on pack this week.
In November last year, GSK announced it had created an executive position to boost soft drinks sales globally.
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