The fizzy drinks market is always going to be a tough one to crack with established leaders and a fickle target audience. But, in a return to television advertising after an absence of seven years, a new-look Tizer is launching itself headlong into the challenge.
Jacqueline Pye, the Tizer brand manager, says that the £1.5 million rebranding exercise aims to position Tizer "as a cool, slightly irreverent brand with appeal to a wider age range.
"As well as making the brand appeal to an older audience, we also wanted to move away from teenage girls."
Allison Grainger, the media group manager at PHD, the campaign's media planning and buying agency, says: "Research showed that girls are more likely to buy bottled water and so the sponsorship of CD:UK, primarily targeting girls, wasn't the right positioning for Tizer. Also, after a seven-year sponsorship, it was time for a change."
The media strategy stretches across two stages. The first phase introduces the new packaging design in national TV ads, which launched on 12 November. The ads will run on Channel 4 and five and across satellite. Grainger says: "Instead of choosing programming aimed at teenage boys, we wanted to position Tizer around programmes they aspire to." This means targeting, for example, Channel 4 on a Friday night, Sky Sports and MTV.
Two 30-second TV ads, created by BDH\TBWA, are based around events where quirky, red characters win out against all the odds. In one, a downtrodden-looking baboon is shown being harangued by a group of monkeys until he parades his red buttocks and wins their respect. The ads maintain the Tizer head, used in previous campaigns and carry the strapline: "Itz a Red Thing."
A revamped Tizer website, created by Henderson Grime & Associates, went live on 12 November. Grainger describes it as a "teenage boy magazine environment, aimed at 13- to 15-year-olds" and says it will include competitions, humour and interaction to reflect the quirky, trendy attitude of the TV ads.
Grainger agrees that it will be hard to build loyalty among a market that so regularly changes its perception of "cool", but believes that a magazine environment for teenage boys is an untapped area that should generate lots of interest.
Next year will see the second phase of the campaign. This will be more heavyweight with trade ads and PR activity supporting a continued TV presence.
Interactive sponsorship and point-of-purchase ads may also be involved but Grainger says that this stage is still very much in development.
A real problem in developing the media communications seems to be Tizer's limited distribution arrangements, which means that a wide campaign might trigger an unworkable demand. This is the reason behind the lack of an outdoor campaign and the lack of point-of-purchase in the first stage.
The idea behind the campaign is a strong one but the limits on its distribution, which mean it is using fewer media channels, may reduce it ability to reach its full audience.
But Carol Smith, the Tizer account director at BDH\TBWA, says: "Tizer is like the pitbull of the UK fizzy drinks market, snapping at the heels of some of the more established brands."
The campaign may serve only to keep it in this position, however, and at present there's certainly no fear of it attacking the jugular of any of the major-league players.
Client: AG Barr
Media: Television advertising, website
Agencies: BDH\TBWA, PHD and Henderson Grime & Associates
Media idea: Use a mix of television and online activity to make the
brand appeal to an older audience, particularly teenage boys