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Is “Product-Centric Marketing” a New Concept in Food & Beverage Advertising?

Remember when ads for soda pop were simple? That close-up shot of the fizzy water being poured over ice – ahhh, the refreshing taste of (fill in the blank). Simple and effective.

Coke remembers, and is getting back to basics. As reported by Ad Age’s Ken Wheaton and E.J. Schultz, after using “Let’s change the world” concepts and messages that vastly overstated the simple benefits of its product, Coke is getting back to basics. But in typical industry fashion, this is being discussed by “consumer and marketing experts” as a hot new trend!

Sure Coke “taught the world to sing” with it’s hilltop ad all those years ago, but after its seven-year-old “Open Happiness” campaign went wildly adrift with messaging that spoke of lifting spirits, making the world a better, more peaceful place –Coke’s “Taste the Feeling” will now indeed bring it back to basics: this stuff tastes good, and refreshes. Score one for the bottlers, who presumably don’t care about all that high-minded stuff. They just want to sell more fizzy water.

Wheaton says, “It says a lot about the state of the industry that it’s major news when a giant brand announces it’s going to do a product-centric campaign.”

Another Ad Age editorial by E.J. Schultz reports this “new reality in food and beverage marketing.” More emphasis on product benefits, ingredients and quality – less on high-minded concepts.

Could it be that the big brands – and Coke is certainly the biggest – have gotten way too “full of themselves?”

Consonant Custom Media

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Mike Eisgrau
Dir. of Business Development

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Steve Smith
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John Wark
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