Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share
6 August 2018
SunnyD brand fails in its comeback attempt
For those who have heard me speak, you’ve no doubt heard me uphold the SunnyD brand as the opposite of what we do at Stealing Share. We create preference. If you don’t, the only other way to go is what P&G and the brand’s subsequent owners do.
See, if you spend enough money, you can convince consumers to buy SunnyD, a purported healthy drink that’s loaded with Vitamin C but also reams of sugar. Like 28 grams per 16-ounce serving reams of sugar.
Originally, the SunnyD brand targeted mothers. But even with P&G’s massive spending, mothers knew better. Sales decline, P&G sells the brand and new owners come up with a new strategy.
The new campaign targets tweens and teens, those ages 13-18. It rebrands Sunny Delight with the SunnyD brand and the theme of “Boldly Original.”
“However, with an unmemorable campaign, the new owners, private-equity firm Brynwood Partners, can only make this successful by spending P&G-like dollars.”
Why the new SunnyD brand campaign fails
Now, we all make decisions based on emotion. We only rationalize our emotional purchases with rational reasons. Otherwise, we’d sound like lunatics.
So, if tweens and teens buy into a “Boldly Original” Sunny Delight brand – or even believe the tagline of “Drink to Your Own Beat” – then the new owners have a winner.
But come on. What does “Boldly Original” mean in this context? Or “Drink to your Own Beat”?
If the SunnyD brand resurfaces successfully, it won’t be through efficient means. Outspending the competition could increase sales, which dropped from $292.8 million to $188.8 million since 2014. However, with an unmemorable campaign, the new owners, private-equity firm Brynwood Partners, can only make this successful by spending P&G-like dollars.
The SunnyD brand faces an uphill climb, regardless. The only beverage type increasing sales is bottled water. Sodas still rule, but they trend downward.
Fake orange juice? The loaded sugar makes it difficult, although Brynwood Partners is probably right in choosing the tween and teen market.
But the campaign feels like an old person’s idea of what it’s like to be that age. Even the look and design of the whole thing feels retro, not the highest emotional intensity with that target audience. And it’s not positioned against anything.
So, unless the SunnyD brand just blows up its marketing budget, it’ll remain an irrelevant brand. Because this campaign doesn’t create preference.
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