STAMFORD, Conn. -- Cadbury Beverages here is gearing up for the annual summer soda wars with an in-store sampling campaign and a new data base marketing program linked with a sweepstakes, special events programming and new media advertising.
The in-store campaign revolves around the distribution of three-ounce samples of Cadbury's Schweppes Dry Grape and Raspberry Ginger Ales as well as cents-off coupons and promotional displays at supermarkets nationwide.
The in-store component is new for Cadbury, which last year mounted a 5.3 million-can sampling program, the largest solo sampling ever conducted for a soft drink, and which focused on distribution at special events.
"Last year's program was primarily to raise awareness," said John Henderson, president of Mobile Marketing, the sampling agency for Schweppes. "This year we're taking it to another level by closing the gap between the trier and the buyer."
The in-store demonstrators will also field consumer survey responses, which will be used in part to generate a marketing data base.
"This information will allow us to remain in contact with people and see what's affecting their purchasing decisions," Henderson said.
In 22 major markets a sweepstakes will award Volkswagen Beetles, and one additional car will be awarded in a national sweepstakes. Painted in psychedelic colors, the autos tie in with Schweppes national "New British Pop" advertising program, which centers on Beatles look-alikes. Commercials began airing last week.
The giveaways involve advertising partnerships with local radio stations and the distribution of 12-ounce can samples at special events such as air shows and parades. The radio stations awarding the Volkswagens will run air spots for the "New British Pop" program that will identify sampling locations and provide details about the sweepstakes.
In Phoenix, for example, the local campaign culminated at a Pink Floyd concert with free samples and the announcement of the Beetle sweepstakes winner. Similar programs will continue through September.