Despite being a relatively elderly 30 years old, Nick Craggs,
SmithKline Beecham’s senior brand manager for Lucozade NRG, likes to go
That’s partly because it is his remit to ’keep abreast of the nation’s
youth’, the core target market for his product, which has just
relaunched in a bigger bottle with new packaging.
His research out in the field seems to have worked. Craggs is the man
behind the latest attempt by a soft drinks manufacturer to target the
indisputably over-targeted youth sector with another anarchic piece of
advertising: the difference is that this one really seems to hit the
The film features a Val Doonican lookalike, clad in a yellow sweater and
snuggled cosily in a fireside rocking chair surrounded by puppies and
children. One sip of Lucozade NRG and the character is transformed into
a hell-raising, tongue-studded, eye-bulging punk rocker who trashes the
set. The message may be an old one, but it’s clear: drink this stuff
’cos it ’delivers radical energy’.
By keeping his finger on young pulses, he was also able to detect the
need to kill off Desmond the Dog, NRG’s previous spokesman who made his
mark on posters and commercials two years ago.
’It was a hard decision because Desmond was very popular, but we did a
lot of research and found that the computer animation technique we used
for him was dated. It was associated with the Mask and Terminator 2, and
when you are dealing with a cutting-edge youth brand, the last thing you
want is to use old technology,’ he says.
Craggs likes research. He spent four years in market research in his
native Yorkshire before joining SKB, in charge of market research for
several brands, including Ribena and Tabasco. He moved into marketing
two years ago, a role he seems to enjoy immensely.
His next task is to tie up a below-the-line sponsorship deal for NRG
with Kiss FM and Club Europa, a ’happening’ nightclub in Leeds. That way
he gets to target his audience in situ - and has a good excuse to go