Cadbury Schweppes Americas Beverages

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Cadbury Schweppes Americas Beverages


5301 Legacy Drive
Plano, Texas 75024
Telephone: (972) 673-7000
Fax: (972) 673-7980
Web site:



In the 1990s Cadbury Schweppes Americas Beverages' subsidiary Snapple Beverage Corporation, long known for its quirky advertising, underwent a series of ownership changes that led to the brand losing its focus. In 2002 the company and its advertising agency, Deutsch New York, attempted to recapture the amateurish feel of the television commercials that had made Snapple a major success story of the early 1990s. Deutsch created the "Bottles Personified" television spots, in which Snapple bottles wearing wigs, clothes, and accessories were animated using the crudest of puppetry techniques.

The campaign, reported to be budgeted at $40 million, was introduced with six spots, including the well-regarded "House Party," in which a teenage Snapple-bottle daughter throwing a wild party was caught by her parents. Customers became involved by submitting their ideas for future commercials in the "What's Your Story" contest. The campaign was also supported by a mobile barbershop that gave out free haircuts in the styles worn by the Snapple-bottle stars. New TV spots, which featured Snapple employees introducing the animated bottles, followed in 2004.

The "Bottles Personified" campaign was popular enough to run for more than two years, but it never registered with the younger demographic to the extent that the marketers had hoped. Snapple underwent a marketing shakeup; different leadership was brought in, and Deutsch was replaced by a new ad agency in May 2004, at which point the "Bottles Personified" campaign came to an end.


Snapple, which essentially invented the alternative-beverage category, enjoyed explosive growth in the early 1990s, when it was the fastest-growing beverage company in the world. Much of its success was attributed to its quirky, almost amateurish advertising, which consumers found endearing. Beginning in 1991 Snapple commercials featured the spokesperson Wendy the Snapple Lady, a straight-talking native New Yorker. In 1994 Quaker Oats bought the brand for $1.7 billion, but it struggled under corporate ownership, and Snapple lost its edge. After three years Quaker Oats gave up on Snapple and unloaded it for just $300 million. The new owner, Triarc, reestablished the zaniness of the brand, bringing back the Snapple Lady in commercials. In three years Triarc was able to regain lost sales and cashed in by selling Snapple to Cadbury Schweppes for $1.45 billion.

Snapple's new corporate parent continued to fund the "Little Fruits" advertising campaign begun under Triarc. In these television spots Snapple bottles were dressed in fruit costumes. Their activities moved from innocent high jinks to more adult themes such as parent fruits trying to tell teen fruits about sex. According to Vivian Manning-Schaffel writing for, "Snapple's research showed that the earlier 'Little Fruits' ads appealed to kids and folks in their 40s, but those in the in-between ages were more interested in the newer, racier spots. Taking this into consideration, the brand came up with an idea to raise the cool quotient of Snapple to teenagers through 34-year-olds by vamping up the brand image." The result was the "Bottles Personified" campaign, developed by ad agency Deutsch New York.


While Snapple wanted to appeal to all potential customers, especially its core 25 to 44-year-old market, the "Bottles Personified" campaign was especially geared toward "Generation Y," 18- to 24-year-olds who were not as familiar with Snapple's reputation as a pioneer of alternative beverages. It was also an important demographic because on a per-capita basis young people consumed more beverages than any other age group. Moreover, they could be persuaded to try a new product. Maura Mottolese, Snapple's vice president of marketing, told Kate MacArthur of Advertising Age, "Young beverage consumers tend to be flavor explorers, so they're not as loyal as older consumers." In order to make the "Bottles Personified" campaign more appealing to this demographic, many of the television spots played on the theme of teenage rebellion. Snapple also partnered with Viacom, a media company that enjoyed a strong presence with the target age group. Viacom's MTV unit produced the first wave of spots, which were subsequently shown on Viacom television channels, including the UPN network and the cable channels MTX, MTV2, BET, VH1, Nick at Nite, CMT, and TNN. According to Steve Jarmon, Snapple's vice president of corporate communications, the "Bottles Personified" campaign engaged "younger viewers without alienating our loyal customers. It seems to appeal to both older and younger Snapple drinkers."


Snapple had to contend with a crowded beverage category, with scores of companies spending millions to advertise their products. In the carbonated category the likes of Coca-Cola and Pepsi regularly introduced new products, such as Vanilla Coke and Pepsi Twist. Not only did Coke and Pepsi have hefty advertising budgets to support their products, but they also enjoyed the benefits of a far-flung distribution network to make their products ubiquitous in the marketplace. They were also able to leverage these advantages in noncarbonated beverages. In the water category Pepsi's Aquafina and Coca-Cola's Dasani occupied two of the top three spots. They also offered direct competition to Snapple, in particular in the form of Coke's Nestea product and Pepsi's Lipton Brisk, the latter the category leader in the iced-tea segment. Snapple battled with AriZona Beverages for second place among teas and vied for sales with a multitude of private-label iced-tea brands. Snapple's fruit drinks also faced competition from juice makers such as Ocean Spray Cranberries, Inc., and Minute Maid (which was owned by Coca-Cola).


The Snapple brand was developed by Unadulterated Food Products, Inc., a company founded in Brooklyn in the early 1970s to sell pure fruit juices to area health-food stores. The company introduced a carbonated apple juice in 1978, calling it "Snapple," after buying the rights to the name for $500. The product got off to a surprising start, with a number of distributors calling up to request the product. Only when tops started to pop off the bottles in the warehouse did the company realize that the juice had been fermenting and that it had been unintentionally selling hard cider.


Explaining the genesis of the "Bottles Personified" campaign (also referred to as "Real Experiences" in the early days of the campaign, "Snapple was looking to go back to [the brand's original] quirky, homemade feeling," David Rosen, a Deutsch assistant creative director, told Sarah Woodward of Shoot, "We wanted to make advertising that looked as if two guys who worked at Snapple had to create the campaign, and did it by cutting wigs off Barbie dolls and gluing them on the bottles." The six spots in the initial wave of the campaign were shot in three days at Occidental Studios, Hollywood, and edited into 5-, 10-, 15-, and 20-second versions, which the marketers hoped would help the spots stand out in a television landscape dominated by 30-second spots. In addition, they hoped that, by giving viewers less, they would make viewers eager to see more of the animated bottles. While the brevity of the spots made editing somewhat difficult, the use of the Snapple bottles as actors allowed the directors to focus on the story. Codirector Jonathan Dayton explained to Woodward, "Every shot was a product shot. So we could just concentrate on the story and not worry about the gratuitous product placement." To enhance the amateur feel, the commercials were shot on digital video rather than film.

The first six spots were "Skateboard," "Boy Band," "Shower," "UFO," "Breakdance," and "House Party." Versions were also developed for print advertising. The spots began airing on April 15, 2002. Especially well received was "House Party." In this commercial Snapple bottles that were dressed like parents—Dad wore a necktie, Mom a string of beads—returned home to find that their house had been trashed by their daughter's friends. The pigtail-wearing daughter was caught kissing a Snapple bottle outfitted as a punk. Crude puppetry made her appear to be quaking with fear when she saw her parents. Instead of Snapple's usual tagline, "Made from the best stuff on earth," "House Party" and the other spots simply closed with the pop of a vacuum-sealed bottle being opened. Examples of other spots were "Shower," in which a bottle dressed as a female gym teacher caught boy bottles peeping into the girls' shower, and "Skateboard," which showed a Snapple-bottle skateboarder wiping out on a trick and ending up in the hospital.

Building on the successful launch of the "Bottles Personified" campaign, Snapple conducted the two-month, 13-city "Dye Hard Snapple Tour," which was developed to reach the 18- to 24-year-old target audience. A mobile barbershop offered free alternative hairstyles, similar to the Mohawks and mullets adorning the Snapple bottles in the television spots. Dye jobs inspired by Snapple flavors were also available. Free bottles of Snapple's newest flavors were handed out along with T-shirts and bandanas. The tour was not only well received by consumers but also garnered a good deal of media attention, appearing on some 30 television programs and accounting for more than two hours of coverage.

Another supporting element of the "Bottles Personified" campaign was the "What's Your Story?" contest, which allowed customers to submit their ideas for a new commercial. Of the more than 1,400 entries, the one chosen, by UCLA freshman C.J. Yu, depicted a smoky concert venue where a Snapple bottle dove off the stage for some crowd surfing, only to land on the floor with a thud. The contest was held again throughout 2002, resulting in more than 25,000 entries.

In April 2003, a year after the campaign broke, Snapple offered six more television spots, including the grand prize winner of the "What's Your Story" promotion, "Bouncing Car," which featured a hydraulic car that ejected the Snapple-bottle driver instead of impressing the Snapple girls on the sidewalk; "Pamplona," in which Snapple bottles ran with the legendary bulls—really guinea pigs with horns; and "Yard Sale," in which a Snapple bottle got in trouble with his mother when he tried to buy a stereo. The last spot also served as a springboard for a "Yard Sale" promotion, in which customers could exchange bottle caps for prizes at yard-sale-themed promotional events held in major cities. Other elements added to the "Bottles Personified" campaign included fortune-cookie messages, air banners flown over beaches and other summer spots, and advertisements on pizza boxes and deli bags.

The "Bottles Personified" campaign continued in 2004 with four 30-second television spots and two 15-second spots. In this execution, however, the dressed-up bottles were joined by employee costars who narrated the bottles' "epics." For example, one spot supported the introduction of a new flavor, Super Sour Lemonade, with a bottle dressed up like a superhero. A part of this final phase of the campaign was a 12-week summer sweepstakes called Snaffle. During this time trivia was printed on the Snapple caps, and each week four winning caps were announced; holders of all four caps won a weekly grand prize.


While Snapple rolled out the final spots in the "Bottles Personified" campaign, the company's marketing team was being restructured by Cadbury. Overall the commercials were well received. In April 2002 the influential advertising magazine Adweek named "House Party" one of its "Best Spots." Often difficult to please, Advertising Age critic Bob Garfield called the spots "delightful" and "hilarious." Snapple also saw sales improve in 2002, but a year later, at a time when noncarbonated beverages enjoyed a boom, Snapple experienced a 4 percent drop in sales.

In 2004 Snapple's vice president of marketing, Maura Mottolese, admitted to Kate MacArthur of Advertising Age that the "Bottles Personified" campaign had done a good job connecting with its core 25- to 44-year-old consumers but that Snapple was still "trying to increase [its] relevance with 18- to 24-year-olds." Deutsch would run out of chances to address that problem, however. In May 2004 Cadbury replaced the agency, giving the Snapple account to Cliff Freeman and Partners. The newly appointed agency had previously worked with Randy Gier, the new chief marketing officer for Cadbury's American Beverages division, which included Snapple. A new campaign was soon developed that ditched the animated bottles for a reprise of Snapple's "real people" approach that had worked so well in the early 1990s, including the return of the popular spokesperson Wendy. Writing for Adweek, Kathleen Sampey and Kenneth Hein quoted one Snapple bottler who liked the new spots that were unveiled at a bottlers' meeting in October 2005. The writers added, "The bottler was appreciative of the changes, saying the personified bottles work from Deutsch was expected to be 'our Budweiser frogs. They weren't.'"


"Creative Best Spots: April." Adweek, May 13, 2002, p. 28.

Flass, Rebecca. "Metal and Glass." Adweek (eastern ed.), June 3, 2004, p. 14.

Garfield, Bob. "New Snapple Ads Hold Genius, and a Lesson for Kevin Costner." Advertising Age, May 6, 2002, p. 63.

Hein, Kenneth. "Snapple to Drinkers: We Dye Harder." Brandweek, December 9, 2002, p. 18.

――――――――. "Surging Snapple Orders $12M Refill for Bottle Ads." Brandweek, February 2, 2004, p. 5.

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Manning-Schaffel, Vivian. "Snapple—The Best Stuff.", January 20, 2003. Available from 〈〉

Sampey, Kathleen, and Kenneth Hein. "Cliff Freeman Brings Back Wendy the Snapple Lady." Adweek, October 25, 2004, p. 9.

Woodward, Sarah. "The Skateboarding Snapple Bottle, and Other Tales." Shoot, April 26, 2002, p. 16.

                                                Ed Dinger



Royal Crown Company, which introduced Diet Rite in 1958, prided itself on being a pioneer of the soft-drink industry. Not only was Diet Rite the world's first diet carbonated soft drink (CSD), but it was also later the first CSD made with Splenda brand sweetener, a low-calorie sugar substitute extracted from sucrose. Diet Rite was purchased by Cadbury Schweppes Americas Beverages in 2000. Later that year a reformulated Diet Rite was released that had no carbohydrates, calories, caffeine, sugar, or sodium. The Coca-Cola Company's Diet Coke and PepsiCo, Inc.'s Diet Pepsi were Diet Rite's fiercest competitors, but neither offered a zero-calorie CSD made with Splenda, which was deemed a healthier sugar substitute than the commonly used sweetener aspartame. Hoping to increase its market share by 10 percent, Cadbury released its Diet Rite "Go For Zero" campaign.

The $8 million campaign was created by the advertising agency Brand Buzz and the public-relations firm Cohn & Wolfe. The first television commercial aired in August 2004. Other media included radio advertisements and a cross-promotion with the Zero Gravity Corporation (or ZERO-G), the world's first provider of flights that allowed the public to experience weightlessness. According to a Brand Buzz spokesperson the campaign was intended to brand Diet Rite on what the agency called a "zero messaging platform" by touting the drink's "zero carbs, zero calories, zero caffeine, zero sugar, and zero sodium" recipe. The campaign's first 30-second spot featured computer-generated zeros bubbling from each of Diet Rite's seven flavors.

Diet Rite's market share within diet CSDs increased by 46 percent during the campaign, and its entire CSD market share grew 59 percent. The campaign also garnered a Bronze EFFIE Award in the Beverages/Carbonated category in 2005. Nonalcoholic-beverage-industry critics praised the campaign for its ability to gain market share for the Diet Rite brand within an industry dominated by such titans as Coke and Pepsi, who spent $25 million to $50 million advertising their diet CSDs in 2004.


The soft-drink industry changed forever after Royal Crown Company introduced the world's first diet CSD, Diet Rite, in 1958. Royal Crown had originally created Diet Rite as a specialty drink, but after it excelled in a small test market, the company released Diet Rite nationwide under the tagline "Feel All Right." In 1962 it was the fourth-highest-selling cola in America. The sales of Royal Crown brands, such as RC Cola and Diet Rite, receded over the following decades until Cadbury Schweppes, the owner of CSD brands Seven Up and Dr Pepper, purchased Royal Crown in 2000. Although Diet Rite was the first calorie-free soft drink to use Splenda, Cadbury ran little Diet Rite advertising prior to "Go For Zero." Diet Rite television commercials had not aired since 1996. Critics such as Stephanie Thompson of Advertising Age referred to Diet Rite as an "out-of-vogue" soft drink.

Diet Rite's outlook improved in 2003 after the main website for the Atkins diet, a low-carbohydrate, high-protein weight-loss program, suggested Diet Rite over other diet CSDs. Not only did the Atkins website suggest drinking Diet Rite, but it also recommended using Diet Rite in its chicken marinade recipes. According to Beverage Digest editor John Sicher, the Atkins endorsement helped Diet Rite's sales jump 21 percent while the entire soft drink industry only grew 0.6 percent.

The Atkins website recommended food products that used the sugar substitute Splenda, which was deemed healthier than aspartame, a chemical that some scientists believed incited brain cancer. John Stanton, professor of food marketing at Saint Joseph's University in Philadelphia, told Advertising Age that the success of the Atkins diet had made previously unpopular brands such as Diet Rite popular again and had opened a window of opportunity for all other products containing Splenda. As people on the Atkins diet turned to Diet Rite in 2003, Cadbury began formulating a campaign that would expand its burgeoning base of health-conscious consumers.


"Go For Zero" targeted what Brand Buzz dubbed "Label-Reading Wellness Women" between the ages of 35 and 49. Brand Buzz understood this target as a health-and diet-conscious population of females who balanced work, family, and other responsibilities. Aware that many women read the labels on their diet soft drinks, Brand Buzz designed the campaign to tout Diet Rite as the only Splenda CSD without calories. Coca-Cola produced a Splenda soft drink titled C2, and Pepsi produced the Splenda drink Pepsi Edge, but both combined Splenda with sugar, which resulted in an estimated 70 calories per 12-ounce can. Diet Rite's "zero messaging platform" hoped to attract all women pursuing a healthier diet, whether it was "zero-sugar" for Diabetes, "zero-sodium" for high blood pressure, or "zero-calories" for weight loss.

"We know that now more than ever people are looking for products that meet their needs for a health-conscious lifestyle," Tony Jacobs, vice president of marketing for Diet Rite at the company's Cadbury Schweppes Americas Beverage unit, was quoted in the Wall Street Journal. According to Jacobs, at the beginning of 2004 women made up 40 to 60 percent of Diet Rite's consumer base. Alongside the campaign's television spots, radio advertisements, and cross-promotion with ZERO-G, "Go For Zero" targeted "Label-Reading Wellness Women" by sponsoring Oprah Winfrey's Live Your Best Life Tour, a three-city event during which Winfrey hosted seminars about personal growth. Diet Rite also sponsored the American Diabetes Association and Speaking of Women's Health, an organization encouraging women to eat healthier and exercise more.


C2, made by Coca-Cola, and Pepsi Edge were Diet Rite's largest competitors in mid-2004. Both combined Splenda with high-fructose corn syrup to create diet CSDs that tasted much like their non-diet counterparts, but with half the calories. In 2004 Coca-Cola launched a $50 million-plus marketing campaign to announce C2 with commercials featuring the Rolling Stones song "You Can't Always Get What You Want" and the Queen song "I Want to Break Free." Created by Berlin Cameron/Red Cell, an ad agency based in New York, the spots featured the tagline "Half the carbs. Half the cals. All the great taste." More than 12 million samples of C2 were distributed nationwide.

The $25 million Pepsi Edge campaign was also released in 2004, under the tagline "With full flavor and 50 percent less sugar and carbs, why not?" The campaign was created by advertising agency BBDO New York. Commercials featured normal men completing tasks while sportscasters Stuart Scott of ESPN's show SportsCenter and Rich Eisen of the NFL Network commented on them. Humorous print ads congratulated people on such prosaic accomplishments as wearing socks. The print's copy stated, "This moment deserves a Pepsi Edge."

Pepsi and Coca-Cola walked a fine line with their advertising messages. They could not advertise Pepsi Edge or C2 as aspartame-free CSDs without degrading their aspartame-laden brands, such as Diet Pepsi and Diet Coke. The similar taglines for Pepsi and Coca-Cola drew criticism from analysts. "These companies are selling the same product. What are they doing to differentiate themselves?" Tom Pirko, president of BevMark, a beverage-industry consulting firm, said to Advertising Age. "They're virtually indistinguishable."


Many diet soft drinks, including Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi, contained a sugar-substitute called aspartame, a sweetener made from the combination of two building blocks of protein. Although the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved aspartame in 1981, public-interest groups such as the Community Nutrition Institute and the Center for Science in the Public Interest petitioned the FDA for another ruling. John Olney of Washington University in Saint Louis fanned the controversy when he released a medical study in 1996 that showed that brain cancer rates had jumped 10 percent in the United States since aspartame's approved by the FDA. In an earlier study laboratory rats that were fed aspartame also formed a significantly higher number of brain tumors. Advocates for aspartame claimed that the sugar-substitute had been proven safe in more than 200 laboratory tests and that aspartame was safe because it was composed of chemicals commonly found in meat, fish, cheese, eggs, and milk.


The underlying message behind Diet Rite's $8 million "Go For Zero" campaign was that Diet Rite tasted just as good as CSDs made with high-fructose corn syrup, but that only Diet Rite contained "zero carbs, zero calories, zero caffeine, zero sugar, and zero sodium." Initially the campaign aired one television spot, which featured effervescent zeros rising from Diet Rite's seven flavors: cola, white grape, tangerine, red raspberry, golden peach, black cherry, and kiwi strawberry. The commercial's computer-animated zeros were created by Digital Domain, a special-effects company that had worked on such movies as Apollo 13 and Titanic. Hoping to target "Label-Reading Wellness Women," Cadbury spent $2.7 million to air the commercial across cable networks such as TLC, Lifetime, HGTV, and the Food Network. These channels were selected based on their programming, which Brand Buzz believed resonated with the target's dietary and fitness interests. To reach a wider audience an additional $1.8 million was spent to release the commercial across network stations.

Cadbury expanded Diet Rite's "zero messaging platform" by partnering with ZERO-G, the world's first provider of zero-gravity flights for the public. In September 2004 Diet Rite and ZERO-G hosted "Go For Zero" promotions in Newark, Los Angeles, Dallas, Detroit, Atlanta, and Fort Lauderdale, where select consumers could experience weightlessness inside a modified Boeing 727-200. By descending at a speed that counteracted Earth's gravitational pull, the plane, called G-Force One, created a zero-gravity environment within its fuselage. ZERO-G typically charged $3,000 per flight, but consumers chosen for the promotion flew for free. ZERO-G's weightlessness technique was the same used by National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to prepare future astronauts for the weightlessness of space travel.

Cadbury hired the entertainment-marketing company EMCI to set up the ZERO-G promotion. "We believe this event will capture the imagination of America and break through all of the low carb clutter with a clear and powerful statement for Diet Rite," Jay Coleman, CEO of EMCI, told the PR Newswire. Spokespeople for Cadbury pushed the Diet Rite brand's "zero messaging platform" throughout the September event. Randy Gier, executive vice president and chief marketing officer of Cadbury Schweppes Americas Beverages, explained to the PR Newswire, "This new partnership with ZERO-G is a way for us to bring to the excitement of zero to life and to consumers around the country." Some critics frowned on ZERO-G's decision to endorse Diet Rite. Gary Ruskin, the head of Commercial Alert, a nonprofit watchdog group against intrusive advertisement, remarked in the New York Times about the partnership, "It's the creep of advertising into every nook and cranny of our lives and culture and even space."


In 2005 "Go For Zero" earned Cadbury and Buzz Brand a Bronze EFFIE Award in the Carbonated Beverages category. During the campaign Diet Rite's market share catapulted 46 percent, far surpassing the original goal of a 10 percent increase. Amongst all CSDs, diet and non-diet, Diet Rite's market share increased 59 percent. Cadbury executives had also hoped "Go For Zero" would increase Diet Rite's baseline sales volume by 5 percent during the campaign's advertising period; it exceeded these expectations by increasing 11.4 percent even though the CSD industry was growing at a much slower rate.

Cadbury sales suggested that the success of "Go For Zero" did not just result from the endorsement from the Atkins diet. During the month of August, when the sole "Go For Zero" television spot aired, Diet Rite sold 10 percent more cases than the month before or the October afterward. Analysts attributed the success to Diet Rite's clear "zero messaging platform," while larger competitors such as C2 and Pepsi Edge fumbled with their advertising messages. Also, it became apparent that dieters wanted CSDs without any calories instead of CSDs with just half of the calories.


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                                               Kevin Teague