Innovation In Marketing Award - Sponsored by TVNZ
New for 2011, this category is open to government departments and State-Owned Enterprises whose activities involve community services or any other activity where profit is not necessarily used as a measure of success.
Iaan Buchanan, Marketing Manager; Sean Wiggans, Senior Brand Manager; Debbie Fell, Senior Brand Manager; Ursula Wiig, Brand Manager; Natalie Beaton, Assistant Brand Manager
Colenso BBDO, OMD, Proximity Pulse, Beat PR, Dashwood Design
In the midst of the recession, Frucor Beverages were counting on V to repeat its 2008 success and record double digit growth for the second consecutive year.
Internationally, small concentrated 60ml hits of energy had become a new trend in energy drinks. Shots had exploded in the USA, and there was a race in Australasia amongst the key players to bring this new high-margin, innovative, incremental product to market. This was a completely new platform for V and Frucor, so with no knowledge of the manufacturing, R&D or marketing implications of energy shots, Frucor embarked on a ten month race to bring V Pocket Rocket to market, complete with in-house manufacturing facilities and the most ambitious extension for the brand in 10 years.
Gaining insights from international trends was easy, but there was the small problem of how to make the product. Co-manufacture was explored, but posed a number of challenges. The result was a new factory line installed in Wiri, with machinery flown in from around the world in record-breaking time. The installation provided significant cost advantages over competitors who all planned to import.
Packaging design was inspired by the original V can, and the V Pocket Rocket was placed on store counters, with stickers on fridges to direct consumers to the counter.
A high-engagement campaign to drive awareness and trial of V Pocket Rocket was initiated. Frucor developed separate brand and product-centric TVCs using a rocket pack as a metaphor for the product message 'A Fast V Energy Blast'. This was supported with outdoor and digital to drive engagement and awareness.
The strategy was to make both the new V energy shot and the V brand a huge part of the conversations of 18-24 year old New Zealanders.
The best way to describe the campaign is in the way the audience experienced it. Winter was beginning to subside and orange road cones started appearing in unusual places. Even radio DJs were talking about how many cones they had seen and people were calling in with their own sightings. The reporters on breakfast television exposed a 'multi-coning' on Watchman’s Island beneath the Auckland Harbour Bridge. Then, on Friday 4 September, an epic coning: a road cone on top of the Sky Tower. The media and the Twittersphere went into a frenzy about how it got there. But Sky City had no idea.
Later that day, all was revealed when a link to a YouTube clip of some amateur footage of a group of guys putting their mate in a rocket pack, giving him a cone and sending him to the peak of the Sky Tower to place the cone atop the tower’s communications equipment, spread around New Zealand’s inboxes.
The fuel canisters of the rocket pack, just like V cans, were bright green and emblazoned with V logos. There was no branding on the film, but a few days later the clip appeared on television with a web address www.vpocketrocket.co.nz, that gave information about the new V product.
V’s launch of Pocket Rocket turned Frucor upside down. In ten months the business delivered break-though innovation through all aspects of the marketing mix.
Over 200,000 units of V Pocket Rocket were sold in its first five months, bringing V the largest share of the energy shot segment at 51 percent, despite the fact that it was last to market.