Thursday, February 26, 2009

Why Coca Cola cannot hear the cheer of "Bravo!"

In 2001, Bravo Brands formed to offer flavored milk that did not need to be refrigerated.

On the surface, this may sound piddly to you, but within short time, 2 'big' things happened.

1) they signed a distribution deal with Coca Cola Enterprises (CCE).

2) they signed a licensing agreement with Marvel Entertainment (yes, the people who bring you SpiderMan, Iron Man, DareDevil and once upon a time...Captain America) and with Mars (the people who bring you 3 Musketeers and Milky Way candy bars).

Pretty strong relationships to have!

These colored-and-flavoured milks were sold in bottles that features some of the above super heroes or candy bars on the bottles under the brand name 'Slammers'. (pretty appropriate for a Super Hero bottle of milk!)

My brother in Law turned me on to Slammers in late 2005. I thought the taste was really good, and my small children were suddenly motivated to drink milk! The SuperHeroes were PERFECT for my son, and the candy bar flavors appealed to my daughter.

I was so impressed, that I called Bravo Brands and began asking the sales team how I could get involved in serving as a re-seller. The man I spoke with (I've willingly blocked his name out of my memory) was INCREDIBLY rude! He even apologized for his shortness and then attacked me AGAIN! (I guess he really wasn't very sorry...)

Regardless of my lack of experience in the 'beverage' field, I had a successful 20-year career in sales and just wanted to promote a product that I loved. What company wouldn't want that kind of support?! Remember the groundswell of success that Red Bull enjoyed? They sponsored parties on college campuses! How many of those would-be marketing majors had experience selling beverages that week? I'd say roughly 'none'...but I'm just guessing.

Anyway, he completely turned me off of Bravo as a 'company'...and then a month or 2 later I don't see the SuperHero Milk on the shelves anymore! (I swear, I had nothing to do with it. As much as I resented that jerk, I still wanted my kids to drink the milk!) Within a few months after that, the Candy Bar flavours were gone, too! (Just as well. My wife had a hard time willingly serving up a bottle of 'Milky Way flavored milk, just to get my daughter to drink calcium...)

When Shop Rite stopped carrying the products, I stopped thinking about them. But it occurred to me the other day...where did they GO?

Well, my research answered my question, and with no surprise: In September of 2007, Bravo Brands filed for Bankruptcy. (Be sure to click the link...the article may be interesting, but the comments from former employees were AWESOMELY revealing!)

And if that's not bad May of 2008 a Class Action suit was filed against them!

So while Coca Cola Enterprises still stands strong in it's distribution of will not be distributing any milk that has a super hero or a candy bar on it's bottle.

So long, Bravo.

You've proven on many levels that you don't deserve to HAVE fans or customers!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Pepsi can now distribute Rockstars

PepsiCo has signed a deal with Rockstar Inc., so it can distribute Rockstar Energy Drink.

Remember what happened the LAST time a Rock Star got involved with soda? I'm talking about Axl Rose's war-of-words with Dr. Pepper.

Rockstar has about 14% of the Energy Drink Market Share. Monster Energy Drink leads the pack with about 29% and Red Bull has about 25%. (Some former Pepsi and Red Bull employees have gone to work for the little "Purple" beverage company. They have never been heard from since...)

Back in the Fall, Coca Cola appeared to be speaking with Hansen Natural, looking to distribute the monster-sized Monster...but it does not look like that evolved.

But what does this say about Pepsi's EXISTING energy beverage efforts?
Pepsi owns and distributes Amp Energy Drink...but Amp does not appear in the Top 5. Is Pepsi admitting that they are better served buying into a winner rather than cultivating their own?

Monday, February 16, 2009

ColaLife vs. Coca Cola: March Meeting in London

Back in July I wrote about Simon Berry and his plan to influence Coca Cola's effect on World Poverty.

Simon and his team have some very strong ideas about how Coca Cola's distribution system can be used to provide water and medicine to impoverished Third World Nations.

The ColaLife ideal: That Coca-Cola use their distribution channels (which are amazing in developing countries) to distribute oral rehydration salts. Maybe by dedicating one compartment in every 10 crates as 'the life saving' compartment?

If you live in/near London (England, that is) you are invited to attend the ColaLife Campaign Planning Meeting on Tuesday March 3rd. (I live in the United States, so I have to pass...). It is here that the team will host a face-to-face meeting to plan the voting campaign for ColaLife''s entry in Google's Project 10^100th ideas competition.

ColaLife's website is here.
Their Facebook Summary is here.

Simon writes: "If we get through to the last 100 in the Google competition on 17 March we will need to mobilise people to vote for us. It's no good waiting until 17/3/09, we need to be ready to roll if we get through."

Simon Cohen of Global Tolerance has agreed to host the event in their offices in north London.

If you have an interest in joining the meeting...or if you'd just like to join the Facebook group and be a part of their activities when they come to YOUR town...please feel free to join up and get involved!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Purple Soda - Music and Costumes

Back in August I wrote about a new soda company called Purple. Despite it's potentially awesome management, I was skeptical about how it would fare.

In September I blogged with an update on the firm. Sure, it was only a month later, but I wanted to 'check in'.

Today I planned to do yet another update, when I Googled "Purple + Soda" I got MUCH cooler results, so let's talk about those instead!

Here is a You Tube video of Kaptain Krunch and the Purple Soda Band. They're rockin' it at the Hard Rock. Sure, the food is WAY over priced...but the music is good.

Speaking of You Tube, here is a video called Flying Purple Soda. Let me assure's VERY anti-climatic. Anything filmed at night usually is.

If you are like me, you did a double take when you saw a link called Purple Soda Pop Girl Adult Sexy Halloween Costume in Medium Size. No, it's not a purple-colored girl made out of soda pop. It's actually BETTER! (Other links more specifically link the costume to Fanta. Dig it?)

In fact, almost ALL of the 'page two' of my Google search links to a 'sexy purple soda pop adult
costume'. badly did the manufacturer want this to show up in the rankings?!

In fairness to the Purple Beverage, a Sept 2008 article in Beverage World capsules them here.

Not as sexy as Purple Soda Pop Costume, and not as entertaining as Kaptain Krunch and his purple soda....but surely more detailed than at attempt at Flying Purple Soda.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Pepsi and SNL Selling Out? CAH MAHN!

No sooner did I type the praises of the "McGruber" Pepsi commercial during Superbowl did I see a page-long commentary analyzing whether or not fans were 'confused' and if this was 'selling out'.


You can read all the silliness here...but I think you have to be reading FAR to far into it if you think there is any 'content' here.

Do you want me to believe that a Pepsi-inspired McGruber skit is on SNL and the fans cannot figure out if it's a skit or a commercial? And you want me to believe that it MATTERS? How seriously do you think the fans take this stuff?

Saturday Night Live is a comedy show. We tune in to laugh. If a commercial makes us laugh...and it features an SNL we care that it's potentially 'selling out'? We laughed, right?!

And SNL fans know that the show is NOTORIOUS for kicking off the show with a mock-commercial. Sometimes they show 2 or 3 in the course of the 90 minute show! Fans were 'confused'? By what?!

In fact, the whole 'selling out' ideal makes me nauseous. (Warm ginger ale, please.)
If the producers get rich off of your TV show, CD or performance...shouldn't YOU? Are you really lowering the integrity of a song of you allow Cadillac or Apple to use it in an ad? Isn't that commercial giving you MORE exposure?! HEL-LO!

The only people I hear crying about 'selling out' are a select number of fans who aren't musicians, actors or artists. They're often not worrying about paying their bills, either. Some of us have financial obligations...or aspirations!...and the extra cash is valuable. Even enviable.

People - if it was a commercial or if it was a skit, you still giggled.
Get over yourselves. No one sold out...You were just wise enough to check in.
If you were 'confused' then you ought to stick to 'Nickelodeon'.
Those Rugrats are still really funny...

Monday, February 2, 2009

Soda and SuperBowl

Pepsi's "McGruber" commercial got mixed reviews at our SuperBowl party.

Personally, I LOVED it...and part of the reason is because I know the character and the shtick from Saturday Night Live. I'm even a little embarrassed to admit that I ALWAYS laugh at the McGruber skits.

I also liked the appearance by Richard Dean Anderson in an god-awful 'worst of the 80s' wig in the commercial! Not sure what I liked better, the awful wig or him burying his face in the steel door when he figures out that McGruber is a 'tool'.

A majority of those in my home who didn't laugh at the commercial admitted to having not ever seen the skit on SNL before. Not that it makes it any 'funnier', per se, but at least you get where the commercial is going if you know the routine.

There were also mixed reviews over Coca Cola's "bugs steal a soda" commercial. My daughter and I thought it was 'clever'. My wife altogether didn't get it. I don't know that there was anything to 'get'...but she didn't like it. I don't think she liked the game either, so what does she know...?

Collectively, NONE of us liked the Coca Cola Soda Shop commercial. You know..the one where everyone on the street turns into a video game character. Bleughghg.

If you don't recall that one, you can see it here.

If you want to see the Coke vs. Pepsi website, click here.

If you had a favorite soda commercial during the SuperBowl...leave a comment! :)