The JWT-created campaign kicks off today with a TV ad, which uses photo-montage animation to “communicate the feeling you get when you drink Ribena” and showcase a “Ribenary world”, heroing the brand’s Blackcurrant and Blackcurrent Light products.
The campaign is the first by the brand to feature the Light variant part of an effort to “meet evolving needs of consumers” according to marketing director Hannah Norbury who said the brand will continue to put marketing focus behind its light variants.
The move follows Tesco’s announcement last week that it will remove juice drinks with added sugar, including Ribena, in an effort to “help customers make healthier choices”.
“Sugar reduction is something we’ve been working on for a long time,” Norbury said, adding that the brand has reduced sugar in its ready-to-drink products by 5% in the past few years.
“We were prepared for the Tesco move and we’re going to be introducing more no added sugar variants into Tesco and other stores,” she said.
However, she added: “We want to be a brand that offers choice, which a lot of consumers want to be given.”
Targeting the ‘pre-family’ audience
The campaign will be supported by digital, VOD, outdoor, social, cinema, in-store and experiential activity with the launch of Ribenary Golf, a touring event that will give consumers the chance to sample the product.
After historically targeting parents by pushing its vitamin c content, Norbury said the brand started its re-launch plans after being acquired by Suntory in 2013 and realised it needed to talk to a broader group of people.
“We did a strategic review of the brand to try and understand who our consumers were and why they were buying the brand,” she said.
The campaign’s messaging and TV spot, which she called “Monty Python-esque”, is a way of communicating to the “pre-family young adult audience” who are its main consumers, according to Norbury.
The ad features the strapline “You can’t get any more Ribenary” to celebrate the taste of Ribena, which research shows “can’t be described” according to Norbury.
“The vitamin C messaging wasn’t why people were buying it – they were buying it because it tastes great,” she added.
With its purple colouring, catchy soundtrack and youthful characters, the ad has similarties to the creative efforts of the likes of Mondelez’ brands Cadbury and Oreo.
While Norbury said Ribena did not draw on Cadbury for inspiration during production, she added: “Cadbury is a brand wanting to drive relevance with a modern audience, which is exactly what we’re trying to do.
“They’re both great British brands and there are similarities in the love people have for them.”
Growing the ready-the-drink category
The campaign shifts the brand’s previous marketing focus on its squash range to it’s ready-to-drink offering, which is “part of our business that is absolutely flying” according to Norbury.
“Increasingly people are out and about more and are busy, and the growth in the ready-to-drink business is really strong,” she said.
“Ribena has driven 50% of that growth in the juice category and the segment is growing by 6% year-on-year.”
While she calls the squash category “more challenging” she said that the new creative and positioning will also “bring personality and excitement” to the segment, which “can often be seen as a commodity”.