The click of a flip-top can. The fizzing when you open a screw top. These descriptions bring images to mind – and those images are unique and personal to the individual as they remind them of the beverage they connect with the most. Radio has a strong value proposition for this category – loyal listener connections that drive engagement, awareness and consumption.
As a top 20 category for radio, beverages increased spending by 9% in the first half of 2016 based on data from Miller Kaplan Arase, LLP. Growth within this category was attributed by some of the national soft drink, beer and distilled beverage advertisers, and specifically Coca-Cola (+87%), Anheuser-Busch (+150%) and Bacardi (+127%), to name a few. While these are all well-recognized brands, there are in fact other beverages that have a history just as long.
Cheerwine, created in 1917, is a one-of-a-kind soft drink with a flavor all its own. The company is family owned and operated, and is led by the founder’s great grandson. Once available only within the Carolinas, Cheerwine now has a wide range of distribution partners, and is available in many states across the U. S.
“Radio is an important part of the entire mix,” stated John Padgett, CEO of The Padgett Smith Project and Cheerwine’s agency of record. “One of the real values of radio is its ability to connect various elements of sales and marketing.”
In a RAB interview, Padgett shared how Cheerwine taps into radio’s strengths. “Radio is a very flexible medium. You can create :30, :60 or other length spots, and tag those with a promotion or co-market with a customer. Radio’s messaging flexibility and localization helps connect to the sales side of the business – and is excellent for driving consumers and shoppers to specific retail locations.”
Supporting distribution channels is an important aspect of any beverage brand and that’s part of radio’s role for Cheerwine. “We’re big believers in developing fully integrated marketing campaigns for Cheerwine. Radio allows us to build brand awareness and interest, and customize the message locally to tell consumers where they can try and buy Cheerwine. That sales connection supports the brand’s availability and distribution – and helps make Cheerwine a top-performing brand for retailers and distributors — while maintaining its status as a beloved passion brand.”
But what about those people who aren’t familiar with Cheerwine? How do you get them to try it? Talk about it and share it in a very personal way. “Although Cheerwine has been around almost 100 years, a lot of people aren’t familiar with it and have never tried it,” said Padgett. “Radio station personalities can help provide that first taste experience for their listeners. We’ll provide Cheerwine to our station partners and ask them to try it and talk about it on-air. And they’ll take Cheerwine out to station remotes and share the brand firsthand. It’s the most memorable part of every Cheerwine fan’s story – their first sip of Cheerwine, when soft drinks changed forever.”
Radio — it’s a great connector.