Everfresh goes slasher in summer campaign

So what's the story?
You wouldn't think juice could rip someone's head off, but in an attempt to connect with the gore-loving, 16- to 20-year-old male demo, a new campaign for Everfresh jokes about doing just that.

So what’s the story?

You wouldn’t think juice could rip someone’s head off, but in an attempt to connect with the gore-loving, 16- to 20-year-old male demo, a new campaign for Everfresh jokes about doing just that.

Created by Toronto shop John St., the work for the beverage’s new Berried line – featuring Raspberry Eruption, Blackberry Landslide and Blueberry Rush – is ‘subversive and irreverent,’ says Gary Krupa, director of marketing for Toronto-based Alfresh Beverages Canada. (Alfresh purchased Everfresh Fruit Juices in 1999.)

‘With this demo, it’s not like you can give them an informed sell and explain to them, ‘Guess what? Berries are high in antioxidants.’ We’re trying to create the image that there’s something unique about the brand.’

In one radio ad, called ‘Stump,’ the narrator reassures listeners that when Berried is referred to as ‘explosive in taste,’ the description is purely metaphorical. ‘So when we say or sing, ‘The big fruit taste will rip your head clean off,” that’s metaphorical too, he reports.

A second ad compares the taste of Berried to a slasher flick – its intensity is reminiscent of the scene where one of the stupid characters hears a ‘weird, evil laughing noise,’ while in a dark attic he never should have ventured into. A chain saw revs up, there’s a terrified scream, and then, splat! ‘The taste is intense, kind of like that,’ adds the voice-over.

The sound of blood splattering – that’s a perfect association with juice. Was Alfresh concerned about turning folk off?

Apparently, when the spots were played for a couple of young guys who happened to be within the target demo – interns at the Toronto studio Lonesome Pine where the spots were recorded – they doubled over in laughter, ‘which was exactly the effect we wanted,’ says Krupa. ‘You need to cut through, and make an impression. You’re a little reluctant in marketing to go over the top, but you want to go as close as you can.’

And with all the gross-out scenes that teens applaud at the movies, while simultaneously shoving popcorn down their throats, it’s hard to believe that a suggestive radio commercial would trouble them.

There’s a quirky transit component, too. In one instalment, Blueberry Rush is in a laboratory, being treated like a radioactive substance, while another execution has riot police guardedly approaching a bottle of Raspberry Eruption. A third ad portrays one of the flavours strapped in a hospital bed, Exorcist-style.

Have there been any complaints? Like, from any mental health organizations for instance?

According to Krupa, there hasn’t been a negative reaction, although the company was expecting some protest, especially due to the bloodshed implied in the radio spots.

‘In terms of sales results, we’re ecstatic,’ says Krupa. ‘We’re hitting out of stock in some cases, as the weather has gotten warmer.’

Guess a chainsaw-wielding maniac is just plain funny, although it’s a whole other effect when it’s visual. (Nike learned this lesson two years ago, with a spot that featured U.S. Olympic runner Suzy Hamilton out-sprinting a chainsaw murderer; angry letters from parents groups and feminists resulted in the horror flick spoof being pulled.)

What’s up for next year? Look for a similar ad effort touting new flavours, as teens, and males in particular, are always eager to try the next thing, says Krupa, who adds there are no plans to make the transition to TV.

That might be a good thing.