Magazine article Marketing

John Cleese Acts as a Tonic for Schweppes

Magazine article Marketing

John Cleese Acts as a Tonic for Schweppes

Article excerpt

John Cleese acts as a tonic for Schweppes

Schweppes Great Britain has signed up the comedian John Cleese as part of a fresh attempt to reposition its famous tonic brand as being an "adult soft drink".

For the first time, the product is to be sold in 330ml cans designed to carry it into the mainstream of the soft drinks market. Cleese will become the "spokesman" of the brand for a 4m [pounds] TV ad campaign.

Schweppes has so far not seen great success with its strategy, formally launched 18 months ago, to loosen tonic's ties with the declining mixer sector. While tonic volumes grew 5% last year, the carbonates market grew by 13%.

Schweppes marketing director Alan Palmer says the company placed too much faith in advertising alone. "I think we have recognised that to achieve a real change in attitudes, the task is greater than advertising," he says.

"We decided mid-way through last year that cans were the missing link. The can says `soft drink' and it's amazing how perceptions change after that. …

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