Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Thinking the stupid

Coca-Cola is considering reintroducing Dasani to the UK market. Having suffered cancer scares and the revelation that it was simply bottled purified tap water, Coke clearly has money to burn for a second attempt.

Coke spent millions on Dasani a couple of years ago before the whole endeavour came crashing down around its ears.

Having had its £7m launch hit first by claims that its new bottled water (described on the label as “Pure, Still Water”), was actually plain tap water from Kent, things only got worse for Coke from there.

Two weeks later, Coke had to recall its entire supply when Dasani was revealed not only to be tap water, but tap water with an added cancer-causing chemical. Did no one mention that what you're supposed to add is vitamins not cancer. Cancer only works when you add it to cigarettes, everyone knows that.

Prior to the cancer scare, there had been a £4m relaunch planned to explain away the "Del Boy Trotter" tap water lark and they may have succeeded, but cancer is a hard thing to explain away.

The debacle in the UK spread to Europe and more millions were wasted as Coke suspended its launch into the French and German markets.

Now it wants to try again in the UK and bring back the brand early next year.

How tainted does a brand have to be before the message gets through to the owners that people just are not going to buy it.

What's the tagline going to be? "Tap water: it’s back and this time it’s cancer free." Maybe not.

The funny thing is, Dasani was successful in the US. American execs must be wondering just how they can bridge the gap and transpose the success they've had at home to the UK.

Has no one told them yet? We're two nations divided by a lot of water. Boom boom.


At 9:12 AM, Anonymous John Baker said...

Dasani proves that no amount of advertising won't help a poor product. And I'm sure the internet was involved in spreading the news of what kind of water it was.

Anyone know if one of the new water / drink brands has been built through word of mouth like Google? Seems like a hard category to do that with.


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