5,811 $m
Global concern with health and the alarming rise in obesity have stimulated anxiety over the consumption of soda. Soft drink companies have been widely criticized for focusing messaging toward young people, accused of capitalizing on youths’ affinity for these types of beverages. As a result, soda sales have declined in first-world markets, prompting Sprite to retool its brand strategy and messaging. Sprite UK launched a “Rediscover Sprite” campaign to introduce a new formulation with Stevia sugar substitute and one-third less calories. While this reformulation is currently only available in the UK, it shows the brand’s responsiveness to customers. In the US, its 27-year partnership with the NBA created close associations between Sprite and basketball, but the brand is also attempting to broaden its target. Sprite has worked, for example, to engage skateboarding and music fans, as well. Sprite also launched a US-wide contest to produce an original short film for a USD $30,000 contract to work on a Coca-Cola project. Its new global campaign, “Obey You,” encourages teens to follow their personal truths, forging connections to the brand perception of fun and youthfulness, but also follows the controversial strategy of targeting a younger demographic. Despite its messaging issues, Sprite delivered a solid four percent growth for the year and remained the number one soda brand in China, but will need to further expand its strategy to address health and marketing concerns.