Double whammy

This just in! Four-time WWE women's wrestling champ Trish Stratus has joined a new Tag team. Yes, that's right. The Richmond Hill, Ont.-born WWE RAW regular is front and centre in the launch of a new product from Gillette, Tag Body Spray for Men.

This just in! Four-time WWE women’s wrestling champ Trish Stratus has joined a new Tag team. Yes, that’s right. The Richmond Hill, Ont.-born WWE RAW regular is front and centre in the launch of a new product from Gillette, Tag Body Spray for Men.

Stratus fits very nicely as a spokesperson for Gillette’s new

brand, which is tackling a brand new age group (for Gillette,

that is), males 17 to 25. It’s all part of a discernible push in brand marketing toward carving out a previously untapped demographic

in an attempt to increase sales. And a few savvy brands are

hedging their bets by marketing to purchase influencers as well

as the target.

There are a number of recent examples of long-familiar brand name marketers creating a new brand to skew younger in an effort to branch out. As Bruce Philp, president of Toronto-based GWP Brand Engineering, explains it: ‘What I think a lot of marketers are realizing is that continuously focusing on what are now fairly mature [baby boomer] consumers is risking the future to some extent.’

For Florenceville, N.B.-based McCain Foods Canada, the challenge in the fiercely competitive $303-million-a-year juice-pack category was a daunting one. Its contender, geared at moms, was a fairly generic offering. Nothing in its appearance distinguished it from its rivals. Says McCain’s director of marketing Andrew Young: ‘The market in the last 10 years has actually deflated price-wise. So we had to break out of that cycle of promoting the product through deep-discounting.’

Thus, McCain has launched a brand new entry called Zwak. And hoping to boost its established 20% market share significantly, the beverage is aimed squarely at kids aged 6 to 12 for the first time.

In order to zero in on its new pint-sized customers, McCain signed on with Toronto-based integrated marketing firm The Sonar Group, which led Young and his team through extensive rounds of research. ‘We’re talking nine arduous months of research – analysis, consultation with child psychologists, character-development workshops, plot lines, focus groups and interaction with kids, kids, and more kids,’ says Sonar president and CEO Ron Moore.

‘The challenge we were given was to completely reinvent the brand. What we eventually did was leave it behind and create something brand new with a much deeper consumer relationship.’

The belief is that this deeper consumer relationship will come via animated superhero-like characters, which will help children engage with the brand on a whole new level.

In TV advertising (there are two spots to date, one of which is a trailer), the ‘ZwakPack’ speed up mountains and go deep sea diving to find Zwak. While the tagline for the introductory trailer ad is ‘Sip into a whole new world,’ the subsequent spot ends with: ‘Zwak by McCain. How far will you go to find yours?’

Kids can play video games featuring the cute toons at www.zwakpack.com, and live-action versions of the trio will visit events. But McCain realized that sending out a message to moms was equally important, so the advertising also stresses that the juice product contains 25% less sugar than the old beverage. Print advertising is also planned.

Like McCain, Gillette created a brand called Tag, to go after

17-to-25 males, a group the company hadn’t addressed specifically in the past. In fact, the company went so far as to create a new subsidiary in the Tag Fragrance Company, with hopes of adding line extensions

in the future.

The first entry for Tag, though, is a body spray, which will

see the brand enter a category that in 2004 was worth $25 million in Canada, with an annual growth rate of 11%. It’s not surprising

Gillette wants a piece, but its marketing strategy is somewhat

unusual compared to that of its competitors. That’s because Tag is being marketed to men and women, based on the belief that the latter ‘are partners in helping to sell this

product to guys,’ explains marketing manager

Darren Mahaffy.

‘We didn’t want to develop fragrances,

names, packaging, promotions or advertising that turned women off. On the contrary,

we were looking for all of those things to work so that women would be proponents of the product.’

To that end, even the brand name got the nod from both genders,

Mahaffy says.

While Tag is launching across North America, Mahaffy says bringing the WWE’s very popular Trish Stratus into the fray ‘is a uniquely Canadian approach to selling this product’ and an ideal way to underscore the essence of Tag’s strategy, especially since Stratus appeals to

both genders.

Over the next six months, Stratus will lead a team of women, called ‘huntresses,’ across the country providing samples to guys in bars, restaurants and malls. It’s part of a multi-faceted campaign featuring TV spots set to start at the end of March, a Web site, www.consideryourselfwarned.com, due to launch March 26, print, and event marketing. According to Mahaffy, the tagline for the campaign is ‘consider yourself warned,’ because the theme revolves around the notion that ‘guys who use Tag can get themselves in over their heads in situations they weren’t necessarily prepared for.’

Says Mahaffy: ‘We’re going not just where the target lives, but also where they’re working and where they’re playing, to make sure they’re seeing Tag everywhere.’