Magazine article Marketing

Bold Designs Gain Listing for Seltzer

Magazine article Marketing

Bold Designs Gain Listing for Seltzer

Article excerpt

While some of the larger soft drinks manufacturers have been struggling to make their can designs as alike as possible (note the great swathes of ubiquitous red and white), one small brand proved this week that it does pay to be a little different.

After six years of waiting on the fringes, Seltzer has finally made it on to the shelves of a major multiple, not on the back of a multi-million pound advertising campaign but on the strength of its new pack design.

The brand is relaunching with ten flavours in ten different treatments put together by consultancy Springett Associates.

Can wraps vary from the more conservative Vanilla Cream and the type-heavy Pink Grapefruit to the tongue-in-cheek Banana.

The only evidence of branding is the clear can and the logo - although even the rubrik appears in different colours and with or without a background strip.

The new look flies in the face of all known textbook solutions, but it has managed to secure the sacred Tesco listing where Seltzer's first ad campaign, last year, failed.

"We haven't got the budget for a serious above-the-line campaign so we needed to create an image with the pack," says Seltzer Drinks Company managing director Mark Peters.

Seltzer was the brainchild of Peters and co-founder Rupert Marks. The pair set up production in Iceland and began peddling the drink to the glitterati in Covent Garden from the back of Peters' 2CV.

Since the first can was sold in 1989, the brand has grown to production levels of around 18 million cans a year but the major multiples had so far eluded the company. Over 45% are currently exported to countries including Singapore, Italy, France, the Lebanon and South Africa.

"We had difficulties because we are a premium price product," says Peters. A can retails at around 59p. "But the multiples are where the foot fall is. This will make a vast difference."

The redesigns were pushed through by Peters & Co who, apparently, liked the various roughs which were presented by Springetts so much that they wanted to use the lot.

Chief executive of Springetts, Rod Springett, originally advised against the idea. "We said that it was the wrong thing to do because they were trying to build a brand," he says. …

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