Tropicana Runs Upbeat Daily Content On Kutcher's A Plus Site

Tropicana this morning launched a sponsored, custom section on the A Plus site that will be refreshed with new content each morning for the next six weeks.

A Plus, a “positive journalism” site founded by Ashton Kutcher and partners in January 2015, is part of the Chicken Soup for the Soul company. 

Called “Morning Spark,” Tropicana’s section on the site features native videos and both curated and native article content. The content is being featured on the site’s digital, social and mobile platforms, which reach “millions” globally, according to the brand.
The stories are also being promoted on social by A Plus’s network of celebrity influencers, who include Adam Levine, Laverne Cox and Britney Spears.

A video released this morning in the Morning Spark section is positioned as part of a story based on A Plus having conducted a “social experiment” to “see what could happen when strangers were encouraged to pass on positivity by paying compliments to others.” The video, called “Spark a Smile,” is also on YouTube (below). 

A Plus took over a coffee shop in Brooklyn, N.Y., to film the results when breakfast diners were handed bottles of Tropicana with complimentary, hand-written notes attached, such as “You are a fantastic mom,” and “Your smile shows your confidence.” Sure enough, the positive feedback inspires the recipients to do the same for others around them (surprise!). The video’s tagline: “What will spark you to be your best today?” 

The nearly 70-year-old PepsiCo OJ brand says it’s seeking to reposition itself from being a breakfast staple to being “an inspiration to be your best every day.” The content sponsorship is a way for the brand to “engage a new generation of consumers in a relevant and meaningful way,” says Tropicana general manager Björn Bernemann.

Although it’s the U.S. OJ brand leader — with a 7.4% market share, per Euromonitor data — Tropicana, along with Coca-Cola’s Minute Maid and Kraft’s Capri Sun, are suffering from an overall decline in orange juice sales. 

According to Nielsen, sales of orange juice, long America’s go-to breakfast beverage, have plunged 13% over the past four years. 

Reason: Negative buzz around OJ’s nutritional content in recent times, even as Americans have become obsessed with home-juicing everything from berries to kale. 

For example, Business Insider senior science editor Erin Brodwin recently pointed out that a 12-ounce glass of OJ contains 153 calories, 34 grams of carbs and 27 grams of sugar — “the same amount of carbs as a bag of M&Ms, and just three fewer grams of sugar.” Brodwin declared orange juice to be “the biggest con of your life,” encouraging readers to instead drink a glass of water,and have a whole orange as a snack. Vitamin C and other vitamins and nutrients in OJ can be gotten through other, less sugary drinks and foods, say OJ critics.  

With that kind of bad press — which is also being fed by the misconception that OJ has added (rather than naturally occurring) sugar content — orange juice brands have been price-discounting at retail and scrambling to implement new marketing and product strategies.
With functional beverages, including those offering probiotics, on the uptrend, Tropicana recently became the first OJ brand to offer a probiotic version. Tropicana Essentials Probiotics will roll out nationally in 2017.

Last April, Minute Maid launched its own upbeat advertising campaign, “Doin’ Good,” meant to offer under-appreciated parents some encouragement. Minute Maid is currently running a holiday-themed extension in which children write loving thank-you notes to their parents. 

The A Plus site has partnered with nearly 30 advertisers in its first year, according to a Tropicana PR rep.

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