Monday, September 21, 2009

Obey your Thirst

In 1994, the soft drink Sprite changed its slogan from "I like the Sprite in you!" to "Obey your thirst" and then eventually to "Image is nothing. Thirst is everything. Obey your thirst." Sprite's new ad campaign focused on differentiating Sprite from its competitors by acknowledging all the ways other products were marketing themselves and telling the consumer that this was not the case with Sprite. Rather than showing people doing fun and/or incredible things while drinking the product or having celebrity endorsements, Sprite decided to focus on buying Sprite because it will quench your thirst. The new tv spots were fashioned as what Sturken & Cartwright call "anti-ads"(p.296). These new types of ads tell the viewer that the company knows they understand "how ads work and that [they] are not easily fooled" (296), and instead of trying to fool the viewer the company, "respects [their] intelligence and will bring [them] into the processes of meaning-making"(296). Sprite parodied other ads by showing the "reality" of what was actually happening in them. One example of this is Sprite's Grant Hill commercial in which a child is shown to believe if he drinks Sprite he will have all the athletic abilities of Grant Hill. The commercial goes on to show the child ultimately failing, and states, "drinking sprite will not make you a better athlete."
The commercial tells viewers not to fall for advertising gimmicks while using the gimmick of the "anti-ad" to sell Sprite. Sprite tries to let the views know they are choosing Sprite based on their own decisions and not because of subliminal messages or other marketing ploys, which is essentially the most manipulative marketing ploy of all. But did it work? According to Beverage Digest, Sprite Sales went up 9% during after launching this campaign.

The Grant Hill Sprite Ad:

Two other ads from the same campaign:

1 comment:

  1. the second commercial with the half naked woman is so ridiculous i dont understand how it has any connection to sprite or for that matter isnt a good representation for sprite. Poor advertising on their part!