Monday, June 16, 2008
How do you win in the bottled water market?
I like this ad. It is beautifully shot, the music track is great and I think the "Bodies never lie" sign-off works. It's good stuff. I'd be proud of it if I were involved.
But I can't help thinking that positioning a water brand is a tough gig.
My girlfriend buys a couple of bottles of water each week. When we shop, there always seems to be a 'Buy one, get one free' offer. One week is might be Ballygowan, the next it's Volvic. Either way, the brand on sale gets our vote.
So if the fight for market share is at retail level, why spend on TV advertising? Is it needed at all?
Well, the strategy may be to use advertising to keep the brand top of mind, and then run a promotion in-store to clinch the sale. Research by author, John Philip Jones, shows that this combination can work. Interestingly, his results show you don't necessarily need to talk about the sale in the TV advertising either for this dual strategy to work. So no need for Ballygowan to talk about their two-for-one sale in their brand building ad.
Also, the brand manager can use this investment in advertising as leverage when negotiating the best shelf space in the stores.
Perhaps Ballygowan and Volvic are happy to fight it out between themselves, as long they don't lose share to other, smaller brands?
Either way, building a premium water brand when there is nothing obvious in the product to differentiate it can't be easy.