Virgin Cola relaunch to target teen market

Virgin Cola is relaunching with a new formulation and packaging in an effort to target the younger teenage market.

The relaunch will be backed by television and outdoor advertising and will result in the axing of brand extensions Virgin Vanilla and Caffeine-Free Cola.

Princes Soft Drinks, which has the licence to distribute and market Virgin Cola, has appointed Big Communications of Leicester, a full-service agency, to handle all marketing for the product.

The campaign will carry the strapline: “It won’t change your life, it’s just a great new taste.”

John Ayling & Associates will handle media planning and buying.

A spokeswoman for the brand, now in its tenth year, says the reformulation will make the cola sweeter and more suited to the UK palette. The new product should be on the shelves by May.

Outdoor activity will be implemented on launch. The supporting television advertising will be held back until after this summer’s Euro 2004 tournament, as cola rivals Pepsi and Coca-Cola Great Britain will be leveraging the event for their marketing.

Virgin Cola launched Virgin Vanilla in December 2002 to steal a march on Coca-Cola Great Britain (MW December 12, 2002).

Big managing director Chris Morris says: “Clearly we don’t have the enormous budget to use teeny pop idols in big-number productions, but we’ll be making as much noise as we can to establish Virgin Cola as a credible choice.”

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