With the football World Cup taking place in Korea and Japan and a summer of sporting and music events there is no shortage of opportunities for soft drinks brands to get their message across to a thirsty audience.
 
Coca-Cola has sponsored the FIFA World Cup since 1930 when the event first took place in Uruguay. In the UK, Coca-Cola Enterprises said it would work with its customers to make this a World Cup one to remember. The build-up began in the spring with a UK-wide tour of the FIFA World Cup trophy, a competition to design a pitch-side advertising hoarding for England's first game, an exclusive preview of the 2002 FIFA World Cup game and on-pack promotions in-store. CCE also introduced a special edition contoured sleeved bottle and launched a multi-million pound TV advertising campaign with the tagline "Eat Football, Sleep Football, Drink Coca-Cola".

CCE's marketing director, Ian Deste, commented: "The FIFA World Cup is a highly involving event and with 41% of the games taking place at lunchtime we anticipate consumers will drink soft drinks whilst they watch the matches. This provides a huge opportunity for retailers."

Meanwhile, Pepsi's allegiance to the country's national sport revolved around sponsorship of the leading players including England's captain, David Beckham, as part of the brand's ongoing 'Ask for More' campaign. Brand new TV advertising featured the "Pepsi" squad pitching their skills against sumo wrestlers with account specific promotions tailored through Britvic's Right Choice initiative.

Bar staff were given the chance to win a Beckham pre-signed Pepsi shirt if they were found to be correctly stocking and serving Pepsi 300ml bottles and an instant win game card was given out with 300ml bottles with tickets to a Pepsi player party attended by footballers and pop stars at Manchester United's ground in July as the prize. At the same time an SMS-based promotion asked Pepsi drinkers to send a message saying why they should win the top prize with a chance for eight winners and four friends to experience life as professional footballers, including coaching from a professional coach.

"It will appeal to Pepsi's core youth audience through their passion for both football and text messaging," predicted brand controller Katie Rawll, before the launch.

Fruit carbonate brand Tango, whose 500ml bottle has been given a new look with a longer, narrower neck, by Britvic, also looked to capitalise on World Cup fever. Two new advertisements had increased exposure during the World Cup. These featured wacky ways devised by Tango fans to experience the full-on fruit hit - bursting a waterbed full of orange pulp and being thrown up and down by an industrial magnet whilst wearing a diving helmet stuffed with oranges.

The famous voiceover "You know when you've been Tango'd" returned for the first time since 1994. A street campaign close to point of purchase aimed to drive brand awareness. Poster advertisements outside popular youth outlets and on the backs of buses showed Tango fans getting 'the hit of the whole fruit' by playing swingball with an orange and wearing a washing machine full of oranges on their head. A large sampling campaign involved 500,000 youngsters. To support the TV and outdoor advertisements Tango introduced a new interactive website www.tango.tv. Acting as an online public access TV station, the site offered consumers the chance to see their own efforts at making Tango ads published on the web.

The summer's other great world sporting fixture is, of course, Wimbledon. The supermarket chain, Sainsbury, and Buxton Natural Mineral Water offered consumers the chance to spend a VIP weekend at Wimbledon including tickets to the championships on 1st July. Entry was via a 'Win a VIP Trip to Wimbledon' leaflet which was available in Sainsbury Stores. Buxton was the Official Mineral Water to the Wimbledon Championships and the first bottled water ever to be selected to quench the thirst of players at the tournament.

When it comes to music Irn-Bru, Scotland's number one soft drink brand and the UK's fourth biggest carbonate, made its second appearance at Bellahouston Park, Glasgow in June at the Live+Loud event. With over 20 top acts, courtesy of Irn Bru, over 25,000 pop fans were present. Meanwhile, the sister brand from the Barr stable, Tizer, continues its sponsorship of ITV's Saturday morning pop programme CD:UK and with three million visitors expected to visit Southport's Pleasureland theme park, Tizer has renewed its sponsorship of Traumatizer, the thrilling looping roller-coaster.

Evian, the UK's leading bottled water brand, is the official water sponsor of Kylie Minogue's 25 date-sell-out 2002 Fever Tour. Evian has created 200,000 limited edition Kylie Evian 50cl bottles for distribution to concert goers outside the tour venues. Brand manager, Anne Ollivier, said: "Linking with Kylie is very exciting and is in keeping with Evian's target audience of 15 to 34 year olds". Kylie herself added: "It's an exhausting schedule and 'fuel' is vital. I drink two litres of Evian a day to keep my system hydrated."

Joining previous pop stars who include Robbie Williams and the Spice Girls, Gareth Gates, finalist of the award-winning Pop Idol show, has signed his first major commercial partnership with Pepsi. Gareth Gates, 17, from Bradford said: "Robbie Williams is one of my ultimate pop icons and I remember seeing his Pepsi advert on TV. Now it's me being signed and I can't believe it! It seems like if you get signed by Pepsi you know you've really arrived."

In an interesting link-up, Copella Fruit Juice Ltd has teamed up with lifestyle magazine Country Living to offer consumers a generous subscription price: 12 issues for £24, instead of the usual £36. In addition, an on-pack competition gives consumers the chance to win one of 20 getaway breaks, each worth £250. The holidays are taken from Country Living's Country Escapes B&B Guide sponsored by Copella.

Christian Jones, Tropicana channel marketing controller, said: "The magazine is an ideal partner for Copella as both are aimed at a very similar target audience. Also, Country Living's ethos of 'when your heart is in the country' fits very closely with Copella's 'taste of the countryside' positioning."

Expert Analysis

The Market for Soft Drinks in the UK

Analysing key sales, distribution, product and market share trends. Off-trade versus on-trade sales of soft drinks and value and volume growth in addition to supplying forecasts to 2006. 8 categories covered.

 

Boosting R.White's lemonade sales for the summer is a campaign in the regional and national press. Readers will have the chance to win a trip to the lemon groves of Cyprus, a year's supply of R White's and branded sunloungers. Advertorials providing the R. White's expert guide on how to host the best summer parties and the ultimate drink recipes are running in Asda and Safeway magazines. "This exciting consumer activity, coupled with a new look for R. White's Cloudy, will drive awareness of R. White's refreshing lemon content and increase penetration among existing and potential lemonade drinkers," said Katie Rawll.
 
Advertorials in leading women's magazines also form part of flavoured water Volvic Touch of Fruit's summer promotional activity. They support a new TV advertising campaign created to build awareness of the brand initially in Scotland and the North of England.  Masterminded by agency BMP, the advertisements see the introduction of an amusing camel character. Brand manager, Anne Olliver, commented: "This advertising campaign is a key priority for us, and is the single most important event for Touch of Fruit since its launch in 2000. It will continue to strengthen brand awareness and further communicate the enjoyment and benefits of drinking water."

According to MAT 2001 29/12/01 figures, flavoured water is the second largest bottled water segment. Danone Activ' has furthered the growth of the category with its launch of Blackcurrant, Apple and Orange variants. The brand is running a series of promotions in selected British supermarkets to stimulate trial starting with "3 for the price of  2" on 4x33cl lunchbox packs followed by 3 for £2 on the 1.5 litre pack size. A new TV campaign broke in June featuring a new episode of the Skelton family campaign. "The promotions in selected supermarkets will ensure that consumers make the most of re-hydrating throughout the hot summer months and the advertising will further increase brand awareness," said brand manager, Angela Calderara.

Orangina from Barr Soft Drinks will receive a national consumer press campaign to run until October targeting consumers from 15 to 44, complemented by on-pack activity across all packs. Elsewhere, Lipton Iced Teas, Fanta's new variant Fruit Twist and Oasis are among the brands which will be investing in outdoor advertising. Lipton Iced Tea is to benefit from a £4m spend to include bus-side and billboard media, sampling to 1.5 million consumers, consumer press and sponsorship of youth events.