Tango returns to TV with vibrators, sexts and Tanguru

Tango did “a lot of soul searching” to ensure the ads fell on the right side of outrageous as it looks to become “part of the national conversation again”.

Tango wants to “become part of the national conversation again” with its new and deliberately awkward sugar-free campaign.

The fizzy drinks brand has broken its four-year TV advertising hiatus with two ads which portray awkward situations that are solved by brand character Tanguru. Each ad ends with its new tagline: “Sticky situation? Time to Tango”.

Speaking to Marketing Week, the brand’s director, Ray Patterson, says: “We want become part of the national conversation again. Whether you’re 15 or 50, whether you’ve grown up with the brand or you’re new to it, everyone can relate to these awkward moments”.

The ads, created by VCCP, show Tanguru bursting into uncomfortable situations and freezing time to offer a young Tango drinker advice on how they can ‘style out’ their situation.

The first spot, which will air after 9pm on Thursday (23 May) ,created for cinema, shows her accidentally sending a ‘sext’ to her dad, meant for her boyfriend, asking for “a quicky”.  Tanguru intervenes and helps her convince her dad it was a typo when she actually wanted an aubergine quiche.

The second ad, shows a young woman confronted by her father after he finds her vibrator. On Tanguru’s advice she tells him it is a head massager which he believes and asks if he can borrow it for work.

Patterson admits that the brand did “a lot of soul searching” in order get the right tone of comedy.

“Clearly we are pushing the boundaries a little bit but the reaction to date has been universally positive,” he says.

To ensure it struck a balance, Tango conducted a wide-range of research ahead of the launch that saw the ads score “exceptionally well” for branding, engagement and humour.

A history of pushing boundaries

Patterson says Tango has “a right” to push boundaries given its history with outrageous campaigns.

Its ‘You know when you’ve been Tangoed’ ads of the nineties brought the brand wide-spread fame, something which Patterson says has influenced its current marketing.

He explains: “We do have a history of bold and irreverent humour which is what we are doing again with this campaign. We want to create something that has impact and is memorable but we’re making sure that we stay just on the right side of the line.

“Our history influences us in terms of our brand personality and tone of voice. We take charge, we want to cut-through and be bold”.

The brand is hoping to target 16-24-year-olds with the £1.2m campaign and believe that this audience will be able to relate both to the awkward situations and the need for a Tanguru.

Patterson explains: “These individuals sometimes don’t have the life experience to overcome these awkward situations and that’s where the character and the brand – Tango and the Tanguru – come in. They give you that quick-witted response that allows you to come out on top”.

Tango’s last TV ad was four years ago and Patterson hopes the new campaign will increase “mental market share” to ensure the brand is top of mind.

He adds: “What does success look like? It looks like brand growth out in the market place. It looks like improving brand metrics. We want to be bringing more people into the brand.”

Keeping up with health-conscious consumers

The campaign will promote Tango’s latest sugar-free flavours – Strawberry & Watermelon, Tropical and Orange – which it launched in March and will be supported by social and in-store activation.

The sugar-tax levy introduced in April 2018 caused many soft drinks to reformulate but Tango’s sugar levels were already too low to be affected. Despite this, Patterson says the brand needs to innovate to keep up with consumer desire.

“Within fruit carbonated drinks people expect variety, they expect choice and we saw that demand from the consumer,” he says. “With fruit flavoured carbonated drinks you need to have a lot more variants in play than cola where the majority of the market is in the master brand.”

The wider soft drinks market is currently adapting to consumer trends towards healthier and more premium drinks. Fizzy waters and other more premium brands are gaining momentum in particular, with YouGov BrandIndex figures showing that Tango is ranked 14th in a list of 28 carbonated drinks with an Index score of +3.2 (which measures a range of metrics including quality, value and reputation).

This sits below premium water brand Perrier, Fever Tree, Appletiser and rival Fanta which is 5th with a score of +7.1.

Despite this, Tango is growing ahead of the fruit carbonates category. According to Nielsen data, provided by Tango, the category is growing in value by 13% compared with a year ago, with Tango growing at +17.5%.

Patterson argues that competition from premium brands only helps the category. He says: “I encourage more entrants coming in as it’s good for us to look to what’s new in the marketplace”.

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