When Snapple Got Sexy

Even a Soft Drink Can Get a Little Racy

Sexy Fruit
Sexy Fruit. Getty Images

Everybody used to love those cute little commercials featuring the Snapple fruits. Well, everybody but the younger demographic.

So in 2001, Snapple changed its advertising campaign to reach the 18- to 24-year-old consumers. Previous commercials targeted those in their 30s and 40s. But the new campaign was supposed to reach a broad spectrum of demographics while continuing to appeal to the older Snapple fans.

So just what did it take to grab the attention of those younger people?

One word. Sex.

Fruit Sex Made Snapple Raunchy

The new ads were designed to push the envelope and be more over the edge than the juice-drink's previous marketing efforts.

You may remember the familiar fruit faces of Snapple's prior commercials. But that softer image was dumped in favor of racier depictions, with references to sex and jail. There were even inter-mingling of the fruit to create the many combinations Snapple has to offer.
 

J. Andy Anderson, Director of Fruit Relations.

In a move very reminiscent of the Tango ads from the wonderful HHCL, the commercials featured a new and exciting spokesman - J. Andy Anderson, Director of Fruit Relations - teaching "The Joy of Ripening." No surprise where that reference came from. You heard his voice throughout the spot while seeing the fruits in their various puberty stages, including this classic piece of copywriting:

"It's time we had 'The Talk.' At Snapple, when young fruits ripen, they may want to combine with other fruits. These urges are perfectly natural. So experiment. Explore. Even play the field. When fruits join together, it's a very special thing."

The commercial closed with a shot of a banana and an apple in a very compromising position.

Yes, an apple and a banana...getting busy. However, the fruit-love spoofs retained the "Made from the best stuff on earth" tagline.

Cadbury Schweppes’ Snapple Beverage Group was so serious about this new advertising campaign that the company invested over $33 million into it. Commercials aired on such cable outlets as MTV, ESPN and the Cartoon Network. 
 

The Campaign Didn't Stop There

Radio commercials launched after the initial TV spots followed the same sexy trend. And a special under-the-cap promotion debuted that summer. The Snapple fruits also showed up in high-traffic areas and stores as well.

This innovative campaign remained consistent throughout the various advertising mediums. For instance, instead of deviating from an overall message and having separate point-of-purchase materials, TV commercials and trade resources, Snapple tied everything into one theme. The ultimate goal was to leave consumers with one thing on their mind when they went to the store: buy Snapple.
 

Snapple Facts Still Going Strong

Another great Snapple campaign that continues to be a winner for Snapple are the Snapple Facts. When you buy a Snapple, the first thing you do (perhaps after taking a gulp or two) is look under the lid.

Here, you find a variety of bizarre and interesting facts, which have included:

  • President William Taft weighed over 300 lbs and once got stuck in the white house bathtub.

  • Human eyes have over two million working parts.

  • Polar bear fur is transparent, not white.

  • Knots come out easier if you sprinkle talcum powder on them.

  • Squirrels lose more than half of the nuts they hide.

  • The human jaw can generate a force up to 200 pounds on the molars.

  • A jiffy is an actual time measurement equaling 1/100th of a second.

  • The longest one syllable word is "screeched."
     

The Merger Story

According to Beverage Digest, Snapple captured 17 percent of the juice-drink market. The company spent $8.9 million on its branding before being bought by Cadbury Schweppes in October 2000. In fact, the sexy new ad campaign was Cadbury Schweppes' first attempt to market Snapple since the $1.45 billion buyout.

 

In 2008, the demerger of Cadbury Schweppes created the Dr Pepper Snapple Group (trading as DPSG) and had sales at that time of over $4 billion.