Which of these are not true?
1. Tropicana offered a cereal made to be eaten with orange juice.
2. Gatorade applied for a trademark for a virtual beverage.
3. Coke Zero Sugar launched a flavor called Byte that it says tastes like a computer pixel.
The answer: all are true. Two appear in today’s newsletter and the other appeared previously. While they may seem wacky, they are serious business.
Those of us who have spent more of our lives without smartphones than with them have a hard time getting our heads around things like the metaverse and NFTs. And we might scoff at stunts like an orange juice cereal that is available for a day and gone, dismissing them as pandering distractions. “This is so unbelievably pointless!” one Twitter respondent commented recently on a BD tweet about Gatorade’s virtual beverage trademarks.
While it’s true beverage companies are often flailing to connect with young consumers, they would be derelict not to try as hard as they can. For us 50+-somethings, there is an entire world of activity happening within our smartphones that we rarely if ever see. Meme culture. NFTs. Tik Tok trends. Snapchat filters that turn you into Pixar characters.
These are fixtures of a young consumer’s daily ritual. More importantly, they are the conversational glue and cultural touchstones for a generation of people who don’t care how many TVs they own, if they have one at all.
So, it doesn’t matter how many cans of Byte that Coke sells, or whether Tropicana Crunch will ever be found on store shelves. The point is to be present and to find a way into the ethos.
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