Why Tango is reviving its ‘forgotten’ focus on product

Tango is tapping into the spirit of its famous ‘You’ve been Tango’d’ ads from the 90s and 00s to speak to a new audience.

Source: VCCP

Tango is putting product front and centre as it launches a new brand platform aimed at generating fame among young consumers.

The Britvic-owned fizzy drink brand is renowned for its humorous advertising. Its ad campaigns from the 1990s and early 2000s, which featured the ‘You know when you’ve been Tango’d’ slogan alongside the famous Orange Man character, are still fondly remembered as examples of pioneering anarchic, cheeky advertising.

In 2019, Tango launched a new TV campaign, which depicted brand character ‘Tanguru’ solving awkward situations, such as accidentally sexting a parent. The humour-filled ad was designed to help the brand become “part of the national conversation again”, brand director Ray Patterson told Marketing Week at the time.

Tango again leans heavily on humour in its latest campaign. Britvic marketing controller for fruit-flavoured carbonates, Harriet Dyson, tells Marketing Week that over the past year the brand has been “putting the taste and the product back at the heart of everything it does”.

Until last year, the brand’s purpose had been ‘Tango exists to save the world from serious’, emphasising the comedic aspect of the brand.

Any brand would love to have a line like, ‘You’ve been Tango’d’.

Harriet Dyson, Britvic

“The product and the intense, bold taste had kind of been forgotten,” Dyson admits. ‘Tango exists to invigorate with intense, bold taste’ was the new purpose devised by the brand last year.

Dyson says the brand’s products and taste are what really set it apart from competitors. The new purpose aims to ensure the brand, and its agencies, really target this USP of taste, she says.

Refocused on this purpose, the brand is launching a new platform and campaign today (14 April). The long-term ‘Dangerously Potent’ platform will seek to bring the flavour of Tango to life.

‘Bust’, the first campaign under the new platform, which has been conceived by agency VCCP, is a humorous depiction of a police raid on a “Tango Dark Berry lab”, featuring an officer who is revealed to be “completely Tango’d”.

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Tapping into memory structures

The new ad harks back to Tango’s famous ads of the 90s and 00s, and introduces a new generation to the concept of being Tango’d.

“Any brand would love to have a line like, ‘You’ve been Tango’d’, which is basically now part of the English language,” says Dyson.

The brand is now tapping into brand memories through its campaign and utilising a distinctive asset which has served it well, she notes.

Tango is aiming to continue to grow market share, and its fame among the Gen Z demographic, through the campaign and brand platform. While many Gen Z consumers were not even born when the ‘You know when you’ve been Tango’d’ ads were first on TV, the brand is confident that echoing the tone of its famous ads will serve it well.

Dyson says she would love to hear Gen Z consumers using the phrase ‘Tango’d’ in their vocabulary.

The brand is also making a return to TV with the new ad. It was last on TV in 2019 with the Tanguru campaign. Prior to that it had taken a four-year break from TV advertising.

While one of the brand’s core aims is to grow fame with Gen Z, TV is still a relevant channel as around half of its consumers are families, Dyson notes.

Tango is also using video-on-demand as well as social channels such as TikTok to reach a younger demographic, whose watching habits tend to be more diverse.

Building on success

The launch of the brand platform and campaign follows the launch of the new purpose and a successful year for Tango. Retail sales grew 56% in value to £84m. Tango is the third largest fruit-flavoured carbonate brand and the fastest-growing in the category, according to data from NielsenIQ.

Dyson says this growth was brought about largely through new product development (NPD). Last year Tango launched its New Editions range with a Berry Peachy flavour. The brand took plenty of time to ensure it was getting this NPD right, she says, prioritising flavour as well as packaging to ensure the new product stood out on shelves.

Last year also saw the launch of Tango Apple in a sugar-free format, tapping into parent company Britvic’s goal to provide healthier options for consumers.

Dyson says these innovations provide a halo effect for the brand’s core products, giving buyers and retailers renewed faith in the power of the brand, which has helped with distribution of new and core products alike.

NPD has been supported by social campaigns, including a partnership with LadBible. The brand also worked with influencers for the first time. Throughout, it ensured it used insight to remain close to its target Gen Z consumer base and reach them with these social campaigns.

“We wanted to invest in a new platform in 2023 to really expand the brand even more because we knew there was a limit to what NPD alone could do,”  says Dyson.

The core goal will be to get Tango products into more hands through a focus on its taste, brought to life with humour, she concludes.