Slush Puppie engages in 'extreme' marketing

Slush Puppie engages in 'extreme' marketing

NERANG-based frozen beverage giant Slush Puppie is undertaking a complete rebranding to attract an older demographic of ‘slushie’ consumers.

The major marketing project of the rebranding, ‘Fuel the Underdog’ aims to grab hold of 12-25 year old consumers through sponsoring up-and-coming extreme sports stars.

Slush Puppie general manager Paul Mockerman will not disclose the figure he is spending on the rebranding other than to say the company has ‘invested an enormous amount of time and money on this strategy’.

“The true cost associated with marketing, branding, execution, media and sponsorship will be forecasted as a percent of total revenue,” he says.

“I would not like to get specific on the number but I will say it is one the biggest investment the brand has seen in many years.”

Mockerman says by targeting the 12-25 year old demographic, the company expects double-figured growth in the current financial year.

“Our brand is No.1 in its category and still has a strong customer base in 4-10 year olds and we are going to keep doing what we’re doing in that market,” he says.

“We believe however to grow as a company we have to look for additional demographics. The 12-25 year olds have their own disposable income and already love the taste of our product, we just needed to find a way to engage with them.”

Mockerman says the difficulty in targeting the older demographic is in making the product seem ‘cool’, using highly successful Californian energy drink Monster as an example.

“We looked at a lot of other companies such as Coca-Cola and Red Bull who sponsor elite extreme athletes,” he says.

“We obviously can’t do that but instead found something that is possibly better by sticking with the community theme and giving support to young athletes who aren’t quite recognised yet.

“We had a 10-year-old skateboarder recently in to talk about sponsorship and I could see his father’s eyes lighting up at the idea that they were going to get the recognition for all their hard work.”

The ‘Fuel the Underdog’ campaign involves applicants sending in a short video of themselves in their respective sports, which are all then placed on the new-look website for site visitors to view and vote.

Developed in conjunction with Robina - based branders Cocojambo, the marketing campaign is the Slush Puppie’s first major rebrand in its 30-year history.

Featuring a dog’s head on a human body complete with a ‘skate’ jumper and iPod headphones, the new logo is a far cry from the original yellow and blue cartoon dog.

In an attempt to make the frozen beverage seem ‘less like a little kids drink’ and engage with the technology-savvy targets, Mockerman describes the new Slush Puppie branding as ‘polished raw’.

Slush Puppie currently has 30 full time employees and the product is sold in more than 7000 retailers of which the majority are petrol stations, school canteens, convenience stores and small supermarkets such as IGA and SPAR.

With the rebrand only having kicked off in August, Mockerman is confident the company will achieve 20 per cent growth in the current financial year.

“We are absolutely on track to achieve our target growth this year and aim to double our business by FY2012,” he says.

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