When marketing and customer experience collide, good things usually happen. The combination of customer centricity and creativity can generate unique experiences that are both memorable and shareable.
Such was the case recently when the folks at juice company Capri Sun decided they needed to pivot because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The result was an absolutely brilliant marketing campaign that also contributed to the greater good.
The company bought a full-page advertisement in several Chicago-area newspapers, including the Chicago Tribune. The ad featured a plain-looking Capri Sun pouch (more on that in a moment) and stylized text. The headline was “We’re Sorry” and the text was as follows:
We’re sorry that recess is on recess. We’re sorry that masks aren’t just for Halloween. And most importantly, we’re sorry that the Capri Sun pouches you’ll be receiving at school are filled with filtered water.
We know that when you reach for our pouch, you expect your favorite juice drink, but sometimes things don’t go as planned, especially in times as weird as these. Some of us wanted to be astronauts… didn’t happen. We’re in the juice game and proud of it. And now, apparently in the water game, too.
You may be asking, “Where’s the juice?!” Well, with water fountains at many of your schools off limits, we want to help make sure you get the filtered water you need to help you stay hydrated so you can grow and thrive. That’s why we’re giving students across Chicagoland, Capri Sun We’re Sorry It’s Not Juice when they come back to class. Is it kids #1 favorite juice drink? Not even close. But, although it may not be the pouch you want right now, it’s the pouch you need.
– Your friends at Capri Sun
At the bottom of the ad, and maybe my favorite part, it says “We’re sorry, kids. You’re welcome, parents.”
So what is remarkable about this advertisement? Let us count the ways:
- It leads with empathy
- It addresses the elephant in the room without even mentioning it
- It is witty and irreverent
- It is “on brand” for Capri Sun
- It is a newspaper ad written to kids and kids don’t read newspapers (so clearly it is written to the kids who now have kids)
- It is for and about the customer, instead of being for and about the company
- It is showing the company giving back to the community during a time of need
Best of all, the ad was accompanied by a hilarious video that interviews kids as part of a pretend focus group to get their reactions on the new “flavor.” The facial expressions alone are worth the watch, but their descriptions of the plain water are absolutely priceless.
Let’s face it: Capri Sun doesn’t want to be producing filtered water. But like many other companies, the company saw the need to pivot and also saw an opportunity to help during the COVID-19 crisis by leveraging their resources in a different way.
Many alcohol companies, for example, started mixing hand sanitizer instead of vodka or gin in order to help fill skyrocketing demand. Automobile companies converted their factories to produce ventilators and other medical equipment. And clothing companies ranging from national retailers to Etsy vendors started making cloth masks as inventories of paper masks were depleted.
What’s different about this was that the company was able to turn a good deed into really fun marketing. The fact that it made people relax and laugh a little bit was a bonus, especially at a time when everyone is stressed out.
These kinds of actions are the ones that customers will remember after the pandemic ends. Even if Capri Sun does not continue to make water pouches, what will outlast the pandemic is how people feel about the brand because of how the company acted right now.
What is your company doing to stand out during a crisis? Have you figured out how to pivot your products or services to be more useful to both your customers and the larger community?
Remember that loyalty can’t be purchased; it must be earned. Now is a great time to start earning it.
Images courtesy of Capri Sun and used with permission.