Tropicana Squeezes Most From DRTV Spot

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Tropicana Products Inc. garnered more than 10,000 downloads of an online coupon after airing a long-form direct response television spot for Tropicana Pure Premium orange juice.


The infomercial by the PepsiCo Inc. division was intended to drive viewers to www.tropicananutrition.com to download the coupon and redeem it at retail stores nationwide.


"No packaged goods product with a strong retail brand presence had ever used half-hour paid programming," said Sam Lawrence, vice president of marketing and business development at Euro RSCG Tyee MCM, the Portland, OR, agency on the account. "The challenge was to influence consumers so that they would look at orange juice differently and turn it into more of a considered purchase."


Tropicana Pure Premium accounts for 75 percent of the not-from-concentrate market. Its variants include Calcium, Low Acid, Healthy Kids and Vitamin C.


But for Bradenton, FL-based Tropicana to expand the Pure Premium sub-brand's share in the overall category, it has to work hard to change consumer perception that orange juice is a commodity.


The challenge was threefold. First, create a preference for brand over category. Next, offer an incentive for viewers to interact with an online feedback mechanism. Finally, develop a program that gives consumers new nutritional information to differentiate the product from others.


The infomercial sought to catch the eye of juice lovers ages 35 to 65 with an annual household income of more than $45,000. Focus groups helped develop the balance among information, branding and entertainment.


The result was "Breakfast Americana -- How Orange Juice Became an American Breakfast Hero." This documentary-style program outlined the evolution of the orange from a rare, exotic subtropical fruit prized by Spanish explorers for its curative powers to an everyday breakfast beverage.


Running from late March through mid-May, the show was consistent with Tropicana's brand identity. It even ended with a 30-second spot from an existing ad campaign.


Viewers were asked to visit the Tropicana Pure Premium Web site to learn more and download the coupon for retail redemption. There were coupons worth $5 for the carton, multi-pack or portable formats. The coupon is not up anymore.


Media placement was national cable like Lifetime, A&E, The Learning Channel and The Discovery Channel. In addition, the infomercial ran in eight markets -- New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Dallas, Tampa, FL, and Cedar Rapids, IA.


The media buy was unusual, Lawrence said. Unlike traditional paid programming, "Breakfast Americana" used a high-profile strategy. It began April 6 on 13 of the 14 CBS-owned and -operated local broadcast stations and, in many cases, after the CBS network news and before the prime-time lineup. It rolled out the next day on national cable and broadcast markets. Time slots were 6 a.m. to early afternoon Friday through Sunday.


"When the program launched on CBS," Lawrence said, "it had a higher rating and share than the Mavericks vs. Spurs NBA game in New York and Philadelphia, and higher than both the game and than 'Everybody Loves Raymond' in Miami, Baltimore, Pittsburgh and Boston."


In certain test markets where the DRTV spot had a telephone number for viewer feedback, 84 percent of callers said they had an enhanced image of Tropicana after watching the show, according to Tropicana. Eighty-seven percent said they would buy Tropicana Pure Premium orange juice the next time they shop.


Market research indicates that the infomercial engendered viewer acceptance. It also showed a high propensity to buy while yielding an enhanced image of Tropicana. So what is next?


"We await the final results of data" from research firm Information Resources Inc., Lawrence said, "and will ultimately decide whether to include DRTV as a staple of Tropicana's marketing communications."


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