Monthly Brand Mashup #14 April

Welcome to Connect's Brand Mashup. To help you stay up to date, each month we bring you a monthly roundup of the latest brand news, insight and the trends in the world of marketing. Whether it's a look at popular brand campaigns or just a brief review of what is going on in each industry, here's a look back at what we think you need to know from the month of April 2016.

In April, we saw the two drinks giants Coke and Pepsi release some interesting global initiatives from both a marketing and product perspective.

Firstly Coca-Cola, the brand is building on the success of its 'Share a Coke' campaign by stamping the lyrics from popular songs on its packaging.  Imploring fans to 'Share a Coke and a Song', lines from a host of tracks such as Queen's 'We Are the Champions' will adorn the brand's bottles and cans.

An additional mobile element of the push will see Coke team up with music identification app Shazam to scan the specially-marked bottles and in-store signage. Users will then be invited to record a short 'lip-sync' video that can be shared across social using the #ShareACoke hashtag.


This is a nice campaign from Coke we think. We all know music is a key factor in shaping memories and Coke wants to associate itself with the happy memories you have. It’s very clever really. It's tapping into a happy memory you already have and putting Coke right at the centre of it.

 And in Singapore, the brand continued its global ‘Taste the Feeling’ campaign by partnering with Clear Channel on an outdoor campaign that uses image and colour recognition to create GIFs.

 The bus shelter ads ask passers-by to show it something red in order to unlock a personalised photo experience, a series of Coke filters are then chosen and multiple poses captured to create a GIF. A QR code voucher is then generated, allowing people to get a drink. The result?  An engaging and rewarding campaign and one that uses such simple technology.

 Pepsi on the other hand are jumping on the craft beer revolution bandwagon, hoping to prove that it can do craft just as well as the beer brands. The brand are launching a new product in the US called 1983. It hopes the brand will appeal to drinkers who want more provenance.

Craft is king in the eyes of many younger, healthier drinkers. According to a Mintel study released last year, six in ten consumers are willing to pay more for premium non-alcoholic soft drinks that have a clear difference in taste to cheaper alternatives. The study also showed that over half (54 per cent) of craft drinkers find ‘natural’ or ‘real’ attributes most appealing or important. In the US, ‘natural’ beverages are growing 12.7 per cent annually according to Nielsen Databank.

Pepsi isn’t alone in its craft beverage endeavours. In June last year Coca-Cola acquired Hansen’s and Blue Sky’s ‘natural beverages’ as part of a play by its newly formed craft beverages team.

And it’s not just the US seeing the trend. In the UK Dalston Cola, made in East London, is just one brand waving the craft flag. Launched in 2012 the brand has gone from strength to strength, appearing at a Stella McCartney event in Harrods recently. Research shows that people - especially young people - are drinking less alcohol than in the past, but they still want to go out and socialise and that means having a bit of a treat. As well as this, consumers are drinking better quality alcohol, and increasingly don't want to mix a premium spirit with decidedly non-premium mixers.

Another FMCG brand upping the ante in April was Cadburys. As part of its new Taste Like This Feels campaign the brand has delivered consumers a number of intensely satisfying experiences at venues around the country.

The first activity in the series – a carpet of bubble wrap - was launched in Westfield London. Shoppers were invited to remove their shoes and experience the small human pleasure of squeezing plastic pockets of air on an enlarged scale where samples of Dairy Milk were of course, handed out. What a great campaign to get people to experience the sensation a product like Cadburys gives you without eating it. The live activity coincided with the airing of Cadbury’s new TV ad on 2 April.

We like this.