Not your father’s Oldsmobile…or orange juice

08/06/2013 10:19:00 AM
Vicky Boyd

Editor's Note: This is the Field Notes column published in the August 2013 issue of The Grower's Citrus + Vegetable Magazine.

I just shook my head at the June Citrus Commission meeting as I listened to the Department of Citrus’ ad agency, BBDO-Atlanta, outline a new campaign designed to attract younger orange juice consumers.

If the department and commission truly want to woo younger OJ drinkers, they’re going to have to make a 180-degree turn and develop a new, edgier campaign.

Just look at Kickstart, a new energy beverage from the makers of Mountain Dew that contains “real fruit juice,” according to the commercial. It targets that younger consumer who turns to energy drinks in the morning rather than coffee or OJ.

On one hand, Doug Ackerman, executive director, says the department wants to target the millenials, a group of 20- and 30-somethings that form a potentially huge orange juice market. He calls them the “future loyalists.”

On the other hand, BBDO says millenials don’t sit down and eat meals as their parents do. They don’t typically drink OJ at breakfast and instead do it other times of the day.

At the June meeting, BBDO rolled out a concept for a new TV commercial that features a flight attendant. Throughout the ad, she pictures her upcoming challenges for the day as well as orange juice.

This is an evolution of earlier status meeting ads, where a group of people sat around a table and predicted the challenges they’d face during the day. After each activity, such as receiving a ticket for an expired parking meter, the actor brushed it off and quipped, “Good thing I had my orange juice.”

Even focus groups who reviewed the new ad say the old ads are just that, old.

I asked Tom Mitchell, vice president of Riverfront Packing Co. LLC in Vero Beach, who was also in the meeting, what he thought of the presentation. After all, he’s a millennial.

He thought the same thing I did. This younger generation is anything but loyal. I’d even go so far as calling them “fickle.”

This is the same generation that jumps from job to job and is not brand loyal. But they’re eager to try new experiences.

The wine industry discovered several years ago that it had a stodgy image among younger consumers, who viewed it as their parent’s beverage drunk only on special occasions. Many wineries retrenched and came up with new, fun names--like Mad Housewife, Seven Deadly Zins and Ménage à Trois--and new varietals. It worked, and they attracted a whole new generation of regular wine drinkers.

The commission and department need to take a lesson from the wine industry and remember, this is not your father’s Oldsmobile, to borrow from another commercial.

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