Five Alive takes a shot at other bevvie categories

Considering the not-too-sexy fruit juice category, Five Alive's new television campaign is refreshing. Better yet, it's actually cool....

Considering the not-too-sexy fruit juice category, Five Alive’s new television campaign is refreshing. Better yet, it’s actually cool.

Each 30-second spot – by Toronto-based Leo Burnett – features five wacky vignettes. In one, a dude with an enormous afro discovers a can of Five Alive in his outrageous ‘do; a guy on an exercise bike tries to grab a carton of the stuff as it dangles out of reach (while a miniature robot demands he ride faster); and three team mascots – a penguin, a polar bear and a bomb – are shown yukking it up in a hot tub until the bear’s head is knocked off by a stray football.

Compare that to the typical juice marketing effort – think chubby-cheeked kids talking about the virtues of a juice, or the unlikely spectre of a mother impressing her teenage son and his friends by serving Sunny D after school.

Five Alive’s two strongest competitors, Sunny Delight and Tropicana Tropics, target teens and older consumers, respectively. ‘Five Alive is a bridge between the two, and sources volume from both,’ says Silvio Annosantini, brand manager for Five Alive at The Minute Maid Company in Toronto, a subsidiary of Coca-Cola Canada.

The new campaign, which features the tagline ‘Feel Alive,’ is a repositioning effort that targets a younger, hipper 24- to 34-year-old consumer, with a slight skew toward males. The company hopes, by so doing, it can capture share from other beverage categories, including sodas, waters and iced teas.

‘It’s targeted at anyone who wants a refreshing beverage,’ says Annosantini, who believes the brand’s ‘citrus zing’ means it could be a contender in the carbonated soft drink market.

According to company research, 85% of consumers recognize Five Alive as a juice, which suggested there was no harm in marketing it more like a pop. ‘Penetration was relatively low versus the total juice category,’ explains Annosantini. Plus, focus groups suggested that moms enjoyed the new spots, too, so there was little danger of alienating them.

Everything about the ‘Five Seconds’ campaign is based on the number five. There are five vignettes in both commercials; each is five seconds long (a counter at the bottom of the screen keeps track); at the end of both commercials is a montage of the five fruits that comprise the concoction; and the product is in your face for at least 25 seconds.

Moreover, the juice gives each of the characters a boost, communicating the brand message that, ‘Five Alive makes you feel alive,’ according to Judy John, creative director at Leo Burnett. ‘The idea was that each scene offered five seconds of feeling alive in a way that would make the brand relevant to the target.’

As surreal as it is humorous, the campaign relies on subtle references and quick edits. ‘The vignettes are rich in content, so you pick up something new every time,’ says Annosantini. ‘We’ve made it challenging.’ (Coincidentally, it took five tries before this viewer understood what the robot-cum-personal-trainer says to the man on the exercise bike.)

The unique format may help Five Alive grab the attention of its media-savvy audience. ‘We found that males like to channel surf and watch CP24 [Toronto's all-news channel featuring multiple streams of information],’ he says. ‘Similarly, you get a lot of visual information in these spots.’

While he declined to reveal sales figures, Annosantini says the spots exceeded most ‘key benchmarks’ in testing and that there has been a ‘significant shift in purchase volume from competitive juices.’

So what’s next for the newly off-the-wall brand? ‘We’ll try something different in the fall,’ Annosantini says. ‘It will be the same level of wackiness, but in different media and with different uses of the five vignettes on television.’ Stay tuned.


Client: The Minute Maid Company of Canada

Agency: Leo Burnett

Creative Director: Judy John

Art Directors: Lara Palmer, Sean Davison

Copywriter: Marcus Sagar

Account Director: Bob Shropshire

Account Supervisor: Steffan Barry

Account Executive: Kate Bourne

Media: Television

We’re always on the lookout for great new campaigns to feature in this column. If you’ve got a suggestion, please e-mail