In 1972, “the best stuff on earth” was invented; Snapple. Several dips and owners caused for the beverage to have to repeatedly recover its image. Recently, the business started a new campaign to brand the product once more. Therefore, in the following paper, Snapple’s latest transmedia business model will be discussed and analyzed by identifying the different media platforms, release strategies, finance and funding, and branding.
Snapple has found an innovative way to revive their brand essence – “Best Stuff on Earth” – and get their customers to engage with the product in a digital environment. They started with improving their website, making it more enjoyable and showing the product’s ingredients in a nice manner. Next, they took the concept of “best stuff on earth” a bit further by creating a page on their website on which people were directed to the ‘best stuff’ on the Internet, rated by Snapple. For example, curious fans could find a link to the top ten fitness trends or the most influential Internet moments of the decade. Furthermore, they put up music videos and launched a campaign called “The Pursuit of Bestness” that also featured a web series, “Best Stuff with Dave”. The concept builds on the fact that each and every cap of a Snapple bottle contained a small fun fact, that fans started to collect. These facts could be looked up and had their own websites. People started talking about this on social networking websites, and thus Snapple decided to launch the web series and the campaign “The Pursuit of Bestness”, in order to gather the community and show their appreciation of the attention (Astralroad, 2011).
As transmedia marketing usually involves many different platforms, marketers will then have to choose whether to go from a niche platform to a broader one or the other way round. And the Snapple chooses the latter – a series of platforms that can be consumed broadly and widely are used. Free access of web series on Vimeo and Youtube, website, music videos are all used to arouse public’s interest in Snapple, with some more niche platforms like a connection to fan-driven “Pursuit of Bestness” and Real Facts campaign standing by for the hardcore fans of Snapple. It makes economic sense in this way, as different markets attract different market niches. Going from a broader one to attract wider and more diverse audiences can expand the fan base of the brand, then engaging more in-depth by participating in niche platforms. If each platform can achieve what it is designed to work on, the whole marketing can then become a crossover of different platforms and people will engage in a platform that they may possibly not engage in before the campaign (Jenkins, 2003). Yet, one may question how a brand as Snapple is able to finance these diverse transmedia platforms after having been through several ups and downs?
According to Kapoor (2012) there are three ways to finance a transmedia project. The first is sponsors, which is when author or a third party pays, the second is audience-paid, which is the case when the audience is financing through for example paid downloads, and the third is freemium, which is a mix of sponsored and audience-paid. Snapple is self-funded through their profits of the Snapple products. Snapple is owned by the Dr Pepper Snapple group so the financing for the transmedia projects concerning Snapple is coming from the profits and operations of the group (Annual report, 2011). This brings one to consider how Snapple still managed to brand itself through the funding and financing techniques of miscellaneous companies?
The health conscious consumer, or the brands’ target audience, recognizes Snapple’s tagline immediately, because the drink “is made from the best stuff on earth” (Deighton, 2003). However, when it came to branding the product, the three founders did not always make the best effort on earth. In the 1970s, Snapple was notorious for its sloppy and unprofessional label, as well as its home-produced advertisements (Chan, 2003). As per its image at the time, the brand’s distribution network was unique, seeing that the founders only focused on using small distributers. Nevertheless, this successfully grew Snapple into a strong marketing brand. They soon expanded beyond the three founders’ proficiency, which resulted in the brand changing holders several times; from Quaker to Triarc to Cadbury Schweppes (Chan, 2003). There were several unsuccessful undertakings during these holder changes, yet Snapple managed to maintain a substantial fan base. They had set the name of being the fun 100% healthy substitute of carbonated drinks (Deighton, 2003). Furthermore, they also endorsed the image of being a caring brand. For instance, since 2003 Snapple and New York City developed into being marketing partners, where the former organization delivers fruit juices and water to colleges under NYC’s dietary rules (Deighton, 2003).
To conclude, one can see that Snapple now employs various transmedia platforms such as websites, music videos, social networking sites and more, all with the aid of the financing of the Dr. Pepper Snapple group. Despite the ups and downs, the brand progressed from a cluttered label, to ‘fashion water’, to a ‘staple brand’ (Deighton, 2003) with a distinct appearance.
By Arnold, Robin, Shelley and Evelien
Annual Report – Dr Pepper Snapple Group, (2011). We lead with flavor, compete differently and deliver share holder value. Retrieved online October 18, 2012 from: http://www.drpeppersnapplegroup.com/annualreport/2011/DPSG%202011%20Annual%20Report%20for%20Web.pdf
Astralroad, (2011). Transmedia and the Art of Brand Storytelling. Retrieved on October 18, 2012 from: http://www.astralroad.com/2011/08/23/transmedia-and-the-art-of-brand-storytelling/
Chan, B. (2003). How does Snapple market its products? Fish Train. Retrieved from: http://fishtrain.com/2007/08/24/how-does-snapple-market-its-products/
Deighton, J. (2003). How Snapple got its juice back. Harvard Business Review, 80(1). Retrieved from: http://www.scribd.com/doc/79035059/Snapple-Case
Jenkins, H. (2003). Transmedia storytelling: Moving characters from books to films to video games can make them stronger and more compelling. Technology Review.
Kapoor, R. (Lecturer). (2012, October 12). CM2052: Transmedia Entertainment & Marketing – Marketing & Branding. Lecture presented in Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands.