August 11, 2007

The Latest Squeeze

I was quite taken aback at the supermarket during the week to see that local soft drink-maker C&C has launched a pure orange juice under its traditional Club Orange brand. Club Orange once enjoyed great kudos here in Ireland as one of the few local brands to beat Coca Cola into second place anywhere in the world. The brand prides itself on using real oranges to make its fizzy drink and makes much of the 'bits' of real fruit that it contains.

For me, it's more than a 'bit' of a stretch for a fizzy drink brand to offer a natural fruit juice - although perhaps no more so than McDonald's addition of salads to the menu or Coca Cola's flogging of natural water (although at least the drinks giant doesn't do so under its flagship label). At the very least, it plays as a clumsy effort to sugar-coat the unpalatable evidence of the effects of soft drinks on health (whether teeth, tummy or artery).

Or maybe it's more of the same addiction to all sorts of spurious spin-offs that afflicts brand-owners in all walks of business? When asked by our clients to bless such tenuous extensions, we brand them a 'bridge too far'.

What do you think? And what's the most unlikely addition to a brand offer that you've seen over the last while?

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