Media: Strategy Analysis - Innocent makes the new year fruity

Brand: Innocent Client: Innocent Drinks Brief: January easy health Target audience: Christmas-flabby commuters and fridge-proud mums Budget: Undisclosed AGENCIES Media: Rocket Creative: Lowe, in-house Live: Exposure, in-house

STRATEGY

The New Year is ushered in by a cacophony of "don't smoke", "lose weight", "work out", "detox" messaging, so persuading the audience that Innocent was the easy route to better health was going to be difficult.

The core of the strategy revolved around two key observations. Audiences respond badly to being told what to do, and, despite January's collective good intentions, we're only fallible humans who often end up succumbing to peer pressure, weakness and temptation.

Rocket needed to present the benefits of easy health as simply as possible, while offering ongoing interactive reminders for people to keep it up.

The team's task was to deliver Innocent's tone-of-voice across all elements, combining broader awareness of "nothing but nothing but fruit" with rewarding and involving content to recruit, nurture and delight Innocent fans.

EXECUTION

Rocket provided a range of touch-points and reminders across the month - targeting commuters going to and from work, or mums dragging their children back to school to demonstrate that Innocent was there to support people on a health mission.

- Sampling/press: On 3 January, commuters at key national stations were handed a smoothie and a January advent calendar full of daily tips to ease people gently back to work. In total, 48,000 calendars and 75,000 smoothies were handed out. In addition, 350,000 calendars were distributed through The Guardian's G2 on the same day. The calendar was not only the perfect way to experience the Innocent tone of voice, but it also ensured it stayed front of mind every day, meaning a daily presence in other channels was not so necessary.

Additionally Innocent announced "here's to staying healthy, the easy way" across Metro, The Times and The Independent, alongside London Underground six-sheets and in online calls-to-action via sites such as Yahoo! and MSN.

- Online and outdoor encouragement: If people weren't opening an advent calendar window every day, their downloaded screensaver was imparting friendly encouragement to chase away the January blues. The ongoing online campaign encouraged surfers to download the e-advent calendar to keep them motivated. Additionally, Rocket refreshed the outdoor campaign mid-month moving on to Maiden's Adrail to re-engage the commuter audience, and press continued to remind throughout the month.

- TV backdrop: The channel and programme mix provided flexibility, environment and longevity. ITV1 targeted mums on 2 January with Coronation Street, and Channel 4's A Place in the Sun enticed commuters with sunnier climes. The broader mix continued to nudge and remind, while the likes of You Are What You Eat embellished the eat-good-feel-good message perfectly.

RESULTS

January has been the most successful month ever for Innocent. It achieved its highest share-of-category in any month to date, more than doubling its sales value in that month alone. Advertising recall of 71 per cent has managed to drive spontaneous brand awareness ahead of Tropicana for the first time ever.

THE VERDICT - Sue Unerman chief strategy officer, MediaCom

Now, we're all feeling like we can get on with the year, aren't we? We've survived January, been frozen in February and are looking forward to a bit of spring-like weather and spring in our steps as we trot through March.

So it's good to look back at this really seasonal campaign from Innocent and ponder on the effectiveness of its "kick-start to the year".

Is it a massive strategic breakthrough to promote fruit smoothies in detox January? Well, not really. However, the key to strategic success is not necessarily genius "out-of-the-box" thinking, but, in fact, good insights rooted in consumer reality and effectively executed. Here's a great example of keeping it simple: January is a good opportunity to drive penetration of Innocent smoothies - the whole month is a prime opportunity for fruity goodness, isn't it?

Good idea then - can't argue with that.

In terms of execution - or, as Alan Sugar would put it, the actual "getting bloody on with it" part of our job - the Christmas-flabby commuters strategy seems very engaging and appropriate - handing out advent calendars at Tube stations, sampling on the concourse, advertorials in commuter newspapers and the online strategy seem to address impulse purchase during the working week very well.

However, the fridge-proud mums bit seems to mainly revolve around sticking some ads on TV. As a busy mum, in January, all around you are falling sick with colds and flu and sometimes it feels like you're the only one left standing. I'm not sure Innocent is necessarily the brand that comes to mind as part of the armoury against the chaos of back to school at the moment. But there's no reason why not. I think the mums part of the strategy could have been more motivating and involving. Not sure an advent calendar would have quite done it, but there's probably loads of mileage in survival techniques for busy mums territory either online or in women's magazines or editorial online or in newspapers.

So: a good overall strategy, convincing on commuters, but not very mum-empathetic or mum-useful. Good as the success of the campaign was, there must be lots of mileage in engaging gate-keepers stocking up the family fridge as well as impulse purchase.

SCORE: 3 out of 5.

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