Sportlife, a chewing gum brand of mother company Leaf that has been on the market since 1981, has recently launched Sportlife Vibes. The new gum packaging (called ‘squeeze box’) has a cool look and comes with the campaign slogan “Unbox your freshness”. Like we have described in our book’s chapter on coolness, in impulse driven categories – like chewing gum – it is essential for brands to launch new stimulations (for instance through innovative packaging) one after the other. If not, this stimulation junkie consumer generation will soon loose interest in your brand.
To endorse the new look of their chewing gum, the Sportlife brand is going a step further than just merely communicating the pack shot. Today successful brands are to deliver a meaningful point of view and support young lifestyles rather than shout the key product’s benefits through mass media advertising. So the central theme of Sportlife’s campaign is: turn your passion into action. The brand wants to stimulate their teen target groups to fulfill their passions and experience something extraordinary. In the Netherlands the brand is cooperating with youth TV channel MTV to create branded TV contests in which participating teens can win their own skate ramp, design their own sneaker line or own their own graffiti wall in the city centre. On the campaignsite teens can register by uploading a video, soundfile or images proving their talents. The best ones in each of the contest’s categories (Sound/Art/Tricks) will then be coached by a Pro to improve their talents. ‘MTV was here’ will broadcast a compilation of the best contest entries on TV. The marketing goal of the campaign is to both build awareness and brand preference for the Sportlife Vibes product as well as enhance trial among teens.
The type of prizes and challenges Sportlife has designed in organizing this contest will in our opinion certainly attract several different lifestyle groups who are involved with passion points such as skating (still quite a large part of the teen population), creating audiovisual artand graffiti. For the teen population being challenged through a contest for which you need to use your skills and achieving by winning a prize that is both in line with personal dreams as well as supporting status among peers is definitely a clever youth marketing approach.