Nantucket Nectars: New Flavors, Old Ad Strategy

Even with a new corporate parent and three new flavors on the boards, Nantucket Nectars plans to stay with its guerrilla marketing strategy for now.

This month the juice company unveils a Summertime juice drink line called Nantucket Nectars Summertime Flavors. The flavors – Watermelon Lemonade, Lemon Limeade and Maine Berry Punch – will only be available through August. The company hopes the limited-run line will capitalize not only on demand in the summertime but also its new owner, soft-drink giant Cadbury Schweppes PLC.

But that doesn’t mean that the company’s “guerrilla marketing” strategy is going to change, at least not yet.

The juice company depends mostly on its offbeat radio spots, tied to its island location and quirky founders, plus taste tests at sporting events and other outdoor venues. The ads are created in-house and placed by Nantucket Nectars longtime advertising agency, Blitz Media Inc. of South Natick, Mass. Nantucket Nectars’ appearances at events are handled by a traveling marketing team and field marketers stationed at key spots through the country.

Nantucket Nectars has placed some print ads, mostly in trade publications, and used outdoor advertising to support the radio on occasion. But that’s not where Nantucket Nectars has received the most impact.

“Radio works for us,” says Jeff Bucalo, director of marketing at Nantucket Nectars.

Nantucket Nectars spends about $1.75 million on advertising a year, down about 50% from 1999. Bucalo says the ad budget hasn’t been enough to try a lot of different media.

So Nantucket Nectars strategy has been simple. The company feels it makes a great product that needs to be tried to be believed. The advertising strategy has been focused on getting as many people as possible to taste the juices. While that has included conventional events, the strategy has also included more impromptu venues like subway stops and street corners.

“We’ll pull up and try to get people to sample our products,” Bucalo says.

Most of the radio buys are tied to what Bucalo calls “value-added events” like triathlons, bicycle or running races – events that draw people who care about what they put into their bodies. You won’t find Nantucket Nectars placed in events alongside alcoholic beverages because they are different demographics.

The on-air exposure and taste testing complement each other, he said.

The radio and outdoor-venue strategy is in full swing this week. This morning, the creative team began editing radio spots to highlight the new Summertime Flavors that were taped Tuesday in Nantucket. They’ll be ready for air by Monday. The marketing team is promoting the new drinks and its other lines this week at a Taste of Chicago.

Although Cadbury Schweppes purchased Nantucket Nectars in April, Bucalo says it won’t affect the company’s marketing through the end of 2002. Bucalo says the two companies haven’t discussed marketing strategy after that. It isn’t clear whether Nantucket Nectars will stay with Blitz Media or will use an advertising agency retained by Cadbury Schweppes.

Bucalo says Nantucket Nectars is very pleased with Blitz Media’s work.

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