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Sexiness in Coke’s bottled water

By STUART ELLIOTT

Decades after 7Up was sold as “wet and wild,”? a brand of bottled water is being pitched in much the same suggestive way, bringing soft-drink marketing tactics to an increasingly competitive fray.

The bottled water, Dasani, is the subject of a significantly revamped campaign from Berlin Cameron/Red Cell in New York that begins Monday. Drenched with sexual imagery, the television commercials, print advertisements and posters, with a budget estimated at $20 million, are uncharacteristic for the Dasani parent, the Coca-Cola Co. Coca-Cola generally favors a wholesome approach to peddle its beverage brands.

The makeover for the ads for Dasani, No. 2 in the bottled-water category, behind Aquafina, comes as executives at the Aquafina parent, the Pepsi-Cola Co. division of PepsiCo, mull a major change in its campaigns. They have placed in review the Aquafina creative account, handled since early last year by Element 79 Partners in Chicago.

The cheeky sexiness of the new Dasani campaign is PG-rated compared with the scarlet “R”? that might be borne by current ads for other beverages like Coors Light and Miller Lite beers in which scantily clad women gambol or tussle. For instance, in one Dasani commercial, a man and woman frolic in an elevator as a security camera captures the action, but they turn out to be husband and wife. In another spot, a woman spends a night out on the town with an extremely attractive man, then heads home where she gets undressed and jumps into bed — with her teddy bear.

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