There are very few alternatives in the global soda or ‘soft’ drink market to compete with the likes of Coca Cola and Pepsi.
In fact, the only non-alcoholic drinks brand that has managed to capture a large share of the market is Red Bull – but it’s not a taste for every palate.
When United Sodas of America decided to jump into the market with their line of healthy sodas, along with the mammoth task of fighting against the big brands, they had one more major challenge to deal with.
United Sodas of America was preparing to launch their proprietary brand of health sodas in the middle of a major global pandemic.
Dealing with a Lockdown
As far as United Sodas of America were concerned, everything was setup for a great launch in May 2020.
Then, the COVID-19 pandemic struck!
Under a locked city, plans needed revision and the usual launch format would have to be scrapped to prepare a brand-new approach.
After analyzing audiences and budgets required during lockdowns, it was finally decided that once New York City began opening up, United Sodas of America would launch their product in only the most crowded neighbourhoods.
The ideal audience profile for United Sodas of America was an individual in the 25 to 34 age-bracket, with a keen interest in personal health.
They were targeting young individuals who were health conscious and had made conscious decisions to choose healthier alternatives to the traditional options when it came to food and drink choices.
Based on that, they shortlist Soho, Williamsburg, Upper East Side and Upper West Side as the locations they would like to reach out to – based on audience profile, local market trends and audience preferences.
The Plan of Action
Having already decided that their launch had to be pushed back by a couple of months, United Sodas of America would also have to revise their outdoor advertising strategy – primarily those related to subway screens and billboards.
Lack of public-transport use – primarily due to the pandemic – meant that subways would no longer be a viable option as the total number of impressions would never justify the cost of the digital media asset.
With 12-different flavours and colours forming the core of their branding imagery and messages, they focused on street-level placements in core areas of their chosen neighbourhoods.
Using Digital Out-of-Home (DOOH), they highlighted their 12-flavours by using digital urban panels outside restaurants that offered outdoor dining and had a higher number of commuters.
They deployed kiosks in strategic locations, targeting these outdoor diners, while also using Geopath ratings as a way to map street locations to audience age-group profiles.
Mapping the Outcome
When you compete in a space that’s dominated by large brands, you need to fight on the same battlefield, but with a considerably smaller army and war chest.
United Sodas of America ran their entire outdoor campaign on a budget slightly above $10,000 and had a 45% reach amongst their 25 to 34-year old target audience age-group.
They drove massive traffic to their website and conversions from areas like Williamsburg, Bushwick and Soho were directly attributed to their outdoor branding in those areas.
In most cases, you might see brand launches utilizing multiple advertising channels to drive sales or website visits but United Sodas of America relied exclusively on digital outdoor advertising to launch their fantastic, healthy soda brand, and managed to gain a significant foothold in just a short period of time.
All data is credited to United Sodas of America and OAAA