Frucor: V Republic: ‘it’s what you make it’


October 10th, 2007

The Energy Drink category first started booming in Europe and Asia in the early 1990’s. "Red Bull" is widely accepted as the largest and first brand to recognize the need to provide people who lead a busy lifestyle with a boost of energy and vitamins in one swift (non alcoholic) hit.

Frucor Beverages Ltd is one of Australasia’s most dynamic and successful drinks companies and marketer of innovative beverages. Noting these international trends, Frucor’s launched ‘V’ in New Zealand in August 1997. ‘V’ goal was to deliver all the pick-me-up qualities of Caffeine and Guarana in a brand designed specifically for daytime.

Colenso BBDO worked closing with Frucor during the creation of the product and launched V via a campaign called ‘Mid-Afternoon Wake Up Call‘. In just two years V captured over 60% of the entire New Zealand energy drink market. New Zealanders drink twice as much ‘V’ as all other energy drinks combined! ‘V”s popularity grew so fast it is actually grew the entire energy drink category all on its own. Coca Cola NZ even put out a drink that looked similar in packaging to steal away some momentum, so ‘V’ had a change in bottle shape to avoid any confusion.


Today V is still the number one energy drink and as the second half of 2007 rolls through the energy drink category has seen some new entrants competing for market share. Research this year has indicated the core target audience (15 to 24 years) was perceiving the V brand as a little one dimensional and maybe too TV centric compared to the aggressive experiential brand competitor of Red Bull.

Colenso BBDO with OMD New Zealand was tasked to find a relevant and meaningful way to take the V brand beyond TV, into the lives of the core target. We discovered an insight that our core market valued opportunities that allow them to express themselves, connect with others, and at the same time challenge everyday constraints.

image This insight into our audience gave birth to the idea
V Republic. An online community that asks members to challenge everyday boredom for exclusive benefits and experiences.

In a nutshell the V- Republic launched this month is an online and offline platform that is the opposite of boredom, conformity, and the same-old. In fact you’re in charge. Yep, you say jump, we say "how high, how far, where, with whom, and what should we land on?" We want your ideas on some stuff we’ll be doing for you over the next few months. Then the people (that means you) vote on which ideas will actually happen. For real. So join in and have your say, because who knows what you want better than you?

V Republic home is located on Bebo, New Zealanders most popular social network site. Actually V Republic is the first New Zealand advertiser to invest in an exclusive online strategy through Bebo. By housing the V Republic within Bebo we do not have to invest time, energy and money dragging the target away to an alternative website – this is our “Trojan horse”. image

The V Republic launched is all about showing the premise of ‘it’s what you make it’. We are out there asking  V Republic users what we should do with $100k (and a pallet of V). We are also fully utilizing the entire suite of Bebo advertising assets from homepage takeovers and homepage video to editorial mentions and banners all with the purpose to promote the V Republic over the forthcoming months. As a result already the campaign successfully is the largest Bebo community with over 10,000 members and growing.

Key events and benefits that will be promoted through the V Republic and Bebo over the coming months will include;

• A free party thrown for the “most loved” town
• An Auckland block party with Aussie band The Midnight Juggernauts
• A Wellington block party with local legend (TBA)
• V supplied VIP bathrooms at the Big Day Out

V- Republic is allowing us to tap into and learn key consumer insights of our audience around connectivity, exploration, sharing and customization. The immediate nature of the Internet is already giving us feedback and insight into what resonated with our key target audience. An exciting time is ahead.

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