COCA-COLA DEBUTS FIRST NEW BRAND IN MORE THAN A DECADE

Just over a year after appearing in stores nationwide, Coca-Colas Aha sparkling water is launching its first major ad campaign, titled Can I Get an Aha?

In a handful of spots, made by creative agency Preacher, actors Lauren Lapkus (Orange Is the New Black) and Colton Dunn (Superstore) insert “aha” into nearly every word they say. Examples: “Ahawesome,” “Tahaco platter” and “I’m feeling a little fahamished.”

The campaign will appear on television, audio, social and streaming channels throughout summer.

“We see huge potential behind the brand,” said Ulises Ramírez, group director of Coca-Cola’s hydration portfolio for North America, who noted Aha has captured an 8% market share of the flavored sparkling water category.

Launched in March 2020, sugar-free Aha comes in a variety of flavor pairings, such as lime and watermelon or strawberry and cucumber. Two options—mango and black tea, citrus and green tea—contain 30 mg of caffeine. Aha is Coca-Cola’s first new brand in more than a decade.

As more shoppers gravitate toward healthier beverage options, competition to control the seltzer space is building. PepsiCo, for instance, has been promoting its flavored sparkling water Bubly with ads starring singer Michael Bublé. In March, Ocean Spray introduced Ocean Spray Wave, a caffeinated sparkling water made with fruit juice.

For the three-month period ending January 31, National Beverage Corp., parent company of La Croix sparkling water, reported its strongest winter quarter ever. Year-over-year net sales climbed 10% to $246 million.

“Our sales and margins have improved despite the efforts of competitors to introduce La Croix knockoffs,” the Florida-based company wrote in a statement. “La Croix continues to be the ultimate core brand of the most discriminating consumer.”

Throughout the past year, Coca-Cola has been shedding underperforming products, such as Tab diet soda and Zico coconut water, to focus on core brands and better position itself for the future.

Last month, the beverage company rolled out a marketing campaign with actor Gal Gadot to promote Smartwater+, a new line of premium bottled water containing flavor extracts and functional ingredients.

While shoppers are showing more interest in staying hydrated, they want their water to come with extra benefits, Ramírez explained.

“They want hydration and indulgence. They want hydration and wellness. They want hydration and alertness,” he said. “That’s where we see the growth of the water category.”

Source: Adweek

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