Consumer Packaged Goods Marketing is Driven by Consumer Habits

With that in mind, we were tasked with marketing for a new vodka soda’s product launch — within alcohol’s very strict advertising parameters, of course.

We spoke with Project Manager Taylor Lowe who shared her insights on how consumer behaviour can (and should) dictate consumer packaged goods marketing.

Consumer Packaged Goods Marketing or CPG Marketing

Consumer packaged goods marketing follows certain consumer trends. Right now, especially with the millennial and Generation Z demographics, trends are skewing towards things like purposeful or authentic marketing, and convenient yet sustainable products. Marketing towards these demographics, which are now those with the most spending power, needs to also be in their language.

Digital marketing now, more than ever, needs to not only be a ‘two-way street’ but also a conversation starter. You can’t simply give people a platform to speak to you on, you need to entice them to engage. To talk about something that they care about — you need purpose-driven campaigns and media created with intention.

And, that is exactly what we did for Purpus when they entered the market.

Purpus Vodka Soda

Purpus Vodka Soda (appropriately subtitled, ‘not just another vodka soda’) was the new kid on the market.

The owners of Purpus came to us before their product was available to the public, giving us the opportunity to market for their launch. Our team’s project manager for the product launch was the unfailingly organized and talented Taylor Lowe, who has continued to lead the brand’s marketing strategies.

Purpus fit into the Ready-to-Drink category of liquor stores but had a few, key differences from other RTD vodka sodas.

Ready-to-Drink (RTD)

In recent years, the RTD category has risen in popularity with consumers. People are much more open to accept quality products in convenient packaging — consumers with spending power now are more than willing to try new things, like canned cocktails. To cater to this audience, Pupus decided to keep a competitive price point with a higher alcohol percentage. They also added ingredients unlike any other vodka soda on the market.

Marketing for the RTD category especially needs to follow burgeoning consumer trends as their audience is largely millennials or Generation Z. We accomplished this with a distinctive brand voice and purposeful, authentic marketing initiatives that spoke to our target audience, despite the challenges that cropped up.

The Marketing Challenges of Purpus Vodka Soda

When they first came to us, Purpus already had plenty of things separating them from their competitors but none that we, as their marketing team, could actually talk about.

Marketing and advertising restrictions on the alcohol industry posed certain challenges. We couldn’t discuss the fact that there are electrolytes added to the can (almost the same amount as your standard sports drink) or that it has a higher alcohol percentage and lower price point than other RTD vodka sodas.

You see, you can’t imply that an alcoholic beverage is ‘healthy’ because, of course, it isn’t. And advertising for electrolytes is seen as implying health benefits. You can’t say something has a higher percentage of alcohol than competitors because it could be construed as promoting being drunk. And, we couldn’t advertise that Purpus was cheaper than others in the market because private liquor stores had different margins.

Essentially, we couldn’t market any of the tangible benefits of the product. So, we did what we do best. We narrowed our audience, built a brand, created product personalities that spoke to specific demographics, and produced cinematographic media.

consumer packaged goods marketing cpg

The Solution to Marketing Purpus Vodka Soda

To market Purpus, our team created a strategy to overcome the challenges presented to us by alcohol’s strict advertising parameters.

This strategy centred around developing a brand voice, directing traffic between an age-gated website and 19+ social media accounts, which were all supported by content shot or written by our team. We also supported our online initiatives with offline ones. At one point, CEO Daryl Louie and Lowe executed an offline collegiate campaign on campus where students interacted with printouts of Purpus’ crossword.

We sat down with the project lead Taylor Lowe to ask her about the product launch and subsequent marketing.

Taylor Lowe: “We filmed a promotional video and four product shorts. The consumer behaviour of those who drink each product is quite different. Guilty Pleasure Rosé is purchased by women in an older demographic than Ludicrous Lime, which is a predominantly male demographic. From a brand standpoint, we had to create the overall brand messaging and then also create individual product messaging.”

The initial promotional content included an encompassing brand video introducing Purpus to the market. The video was shot by Creative Director Cristobal Ruiz, the voice-over script co-written by Lowe and Copywriter Colleen Christison. The video communicates Purpus’ distinctive brand voice, directed to the target audience.

The product shorts, however, are specific to the demographics Lowe described. She tells us, “[the need for the product shorts] actually came about when stores started stocking Purpus. Some stores wouldn’t carry certain products and we would see a spike in our community management on social media of followers asking where they could buy certain flavours.

Normally, with any other product launch, it’s one item. We’re marketing Purpus Vodka Soda as a brand and then marketing the individual product lines. We’re treating the products separately [from a marketing standpoint] as they have different purchasers.”

Our team created ‘product personas’ for each of Purpus’ products which were dictated by the purchaser’s demographics. We then designed and directed supporting media and copy to reflect these personas.

The unique challenges presented with this particular product launch gave our team a chance to exercise creative solutions. Overall, the launch and subsequent marketing have been a success. Not to mention this product introduced us to our new favourite vodka soda.