The launch follows Cheerwine’s 2008 roll out of new packaging by branding/design firm, Girvin, and marketing campaign by the soft drink’s agency of record, Hauser Group, as well as its expansion into several markets. Both contributed to Cheerwine’s double-digit consumption growth over the last few months in what is otherwise a “flat” carbonated-soft-drinks category.
“Cheerwine’s history is unique and stands out in a category amongst so many multi-national brands,'” says Tom Barbitta, vice president of marketing for Cheerwine. “We’re a great example of how the ‘little guy’ can be successful by remaining true to its roots, owning unique ‘real estate’ in the industry and creating innovative ways to reach its target audience.”
It’s a Web site
Cheerwine’s new Web site – itsasoftdrink.com (launching 4/14) – was created to be a one-stop, kick-back-and-relax destination for teens and college-age young adults, providing them with the types of entertainment they enjoy most online: games, videos, music and more.
The Web site is designed with the same award-winning, not-taking-ourselves-too-seriously, handmade art direction that Hauser Group created for the 2008 marketing campaign – which uses cut-out pictures and shapes as the backdrop for the entertaining content. Visitors have two relaxing destination options on the Web site: a laid-back beach and zero-gravity outer space.
– Interactive Fun: Visitors can create their own songs by using a Musical Alien’s tentacles (each make a different sound); push a high-strung animated boss’ anger to the breaking point; upload Cheerwine-inspired art in “The Art of Cheerwine”; and switch out beach musician Rumple Chillskin’s instruments and songs.
– Videos: On the outer space page, visitors can go to “The Sparkletron 3000 Satellite Video Transmitter” to watch a variety of original content: “Tales from the Fridge” follows the lives of produce, condiments, a bottle of Cheerwine and other characters as they face drama, fall in love and literally “chill” out; “Good Cop. Naked Cop.” follows a nice cop who, after having trouble getting a confession, brings in his “in the buff” reinforcement to finish the interrogation; and “Are You Cheerworthy?” follows a wizard who hits the streets to determine if people are laid back enough for Cheerwine (if those approached remain relaxed through odd questions and requests, they receive a “bottle up” sign).
It’s an ad campaign
To drive traffic to its new Web world, Cheerwine is rolling out online banner advertisements and video content on entertainment and content-rich sites such as Hulu.com and AdultSwim.com and through Tremor Media’s ad network.
Cheerwine will also unveil its first animated television spots, which will broadcast during select programming on MTV, VH-1, Comedy Central and Cartoon Network.
The soft drink will continue to build on its print, radio and outdoor campaign from 2008, rolling out new creative for all of them in 2009.
To reach out to its fans, Cheerwine’s digital footprint will also include visibility on Facebook, MySpace and other social networking sites. “We’re reaching our audience where they interact with their peers and seek out entertainment while providing them with a unique place in cyberspace to kick back and relax,” says Barbitta. “As we expand into many new markets in 2009, we’ll have a Web site in place that truly communicates our essence and serves as a true ‘hive’ for the brand.”
It’s a team effort
To create its targeted multi-touch campaign, Cheerwine tapped experts in relevant arenas: Hauser Group created and orchestrated the campaign; and Awesome, Inc., brought the content to life on the new Web site, produced the videos and created the online banner advertisements.
“What we’re rolling out for Cheerwine in 2009 not only builds on the momentum created by our 2008 campaign, but also takes it up several notches while expanding into several new communication channels,” says Ed Klein, president of Hauser Group. “It’s a one-of-a-kind integrated experience that goes perfectly with a brand that, itself, is truly unique.”
Hauser Group will also be rolling out a “Chilled Out Tour” for Cheerwine, which will visit events in select markets, as well as an ambassador program in late 2009.
Launched in 1917 by L.D. Peeler, Cheerwine is the unique, sparkling soft drink from North Carolina. Owned and distributed by the Carolina Beverage Corporation and Cheerwine Bottling Company in Salisbury, NC, the 92-year-old company is still privately owned and managed by the same founding family; four generations of whom have worked there. Cliff Ritchie leads Cheerwine as president and CEO. Available in supermarkets and convenience stores in select states nationwide and on the website at www.cheerwine.com.
About Hauser Group
Hauser Group is a full-service advertising and marketing firm in Atlanta. The agency was designed and built on a distinct model of seamless strategy and creative with total, integrated involvement from senior level professionals on every detail from concept to campaign. The agency’s combined experience has built brands for some of the most notable companies in the world and their experience in top creative shops and client organizations has helped the agency become a rising powerhouse in the advertising agency business. Hauser Group provides advertising, branding, creative services, interactive marketing, media planning and buying, promotions, public relations, research and strategic planning services. More information about Hauser Group, including a list of its distinguished clients, can be found at www.hausergroup.com.