The Case of Lucozade

Lucozade for children advertsingGrowing up in the UK in the early 80′s you were bound to have experienced Lucozade as part of your family’s regime for nursing you back to health when ill. Just the sight of the bright orange bottle of fizzy elixir brings back memories of sipping my way back to full strength following an unwelcome bout of flu. And who could forget unwrapping the orange film to look through it and see the world bright orange for a while? It made you forget your poor situation for a few minutes. Lucozade was always the ‘nice part of being ill’.

And that’s just it: a generation doesn’t easily forget. So when Lucozade made a decision to rewrite their history and become synonymous not with poorly children but with elite athletes, they had a long journey ahead. In 1982 Lucozade repositioned itself from a drink that aides recovery to a drink that replaces lost energy. Lucozade brand Faster Stronger AdvertisingIn 1990 Lucozade Sport was launched as the UK’s first mainstream sports drink.

How well has Lucozade rebranded itself as the fuel of a generation of budding athletes who also witnessed Great Britain’s great achievements in the 2012 Olympics? Let’s take a look at the analyses of consumer opinion surrounding their greatest claim yet, that Lucozade Sport Hydro Active is in fact better than water at hydrating you!

Lucozade Brand Analysis

Here is how we approached the analysis using Crimson Hexagon’s ForSight social media platform (powered by BrightView):

First, we developed a framework for evaluating product use and advertising effectiveness by analysing the online conversations surrounding the January 2013 advert and the Lucozade brand over an 8-month period.

We then summarised our focus by framing business questions that could not be answered by volume metrics alone. We would need a more human, qualitative and intuitive look at the conversations to answer the questions:

  1. How did consumers react to Lucozade Sport’s “Last Man Standing” campaign?
  2. What was the impact on the Lucozade brand?

In order to make this analysis scalable, we used ForSight to collect conversations from across the social web that contained mentions of Lucozade and the advert “Last Man Standing” using a simple query. We then trained our BrightView algorithm by selecting the best examples of the opinions surfacing in the data when randomized over the date range. We added these examples into relevant categories. By classifying a small sample of posts when training the BrightView algorithm, it is then able to efficiently quantify how often that conversation pattern is occurring in the data set generated by the original keyword query. The results then tell a story and lead you to insight based on unsolicited consumer opinion.

Here is what we found out:

The Lucozade Sport Brand Baseline is made up of consumers talking about consuming the product, evidencing “life casting,” broadcasting mundane life events on social media (80% between 1st July 2012 and 1st March 2013):

29% talked about consuming Lucozade Sport to increase productivity, while 17% refer to drinking Lucozade Sport socially.

14% talked about Lucozade helping recovery from colds or hangovers. In itself this represents a significant hangover from the early days of Lucozade prior to the image change. This category shows how powerful that association remains despite a lack of marketing efforts to help it persist in consumer consciousness. This relatively large segment shows that associated health benefits are still powerfully driving consumption.

Lucozade Tweets around impact of advertising sports drink

“Last Man Standing”

Now let’s switch to the “Last Man Standing” advert produced for Lucozade by Grey London. The ad sets out to promote Lucozade Sport’s key proposition that it hydrates and fuels the body more efficiently than water.

The ad itself makes its claim based on scientific tests, which have been recreated with actors. We see a lab setting where 24 athletes go head-to-head in a performance challenge – half fuelled by Lucozade Sport and half by water. Each of the athletes were asked to run right to the point of exhaustion. GSK scientists in white coats are on hand to closely monitor results. The conclusion is that the Lucozade Sport drinkers are the only athletes still jogging at the end of the test. Scientific? Let’s see how consumers felt….

Having already started with a brand analysis baseline for Lucozade Sport we had some understanding of how consumers already perceived the brand. So we wanted to measure any movement in brand perception stimulated by the ad.

In reaction to the advertising claim, consumers direct their opinions towards the campaigns key messaging shown below with 55% saying that encouraging Lucozade consumption over water is misleading and only 26% agreeing with the claim:

Locozade Advert Opinion Analysis

But the most insightful observation following the airing of “Last Man Standing” is where we see shifts in dimensions of product engagement below.

Brand Analysis After the Ad Campaign

The proportion of chatter that referenced productivity gains actually decreased by 8%.

The ad messaging around improved hydration has directly impacted brand-level discussion demonstrated by the proportion of conversation citing health benefits of Lucozade increasing by 4%:

Impact of Advertising Locozade

Despite polarising reactions to “Last Man Standing,” the real impact emerges at the brand level: more consumers are discussing the health benefits of Lucozade (18%) since early January.

These observations are only made possible by the unique ability of Crimson Hexagon ForSight (Powered by BrightView) to scale human intelligence, across the big social data sets, which, if done manually, would simply take too long. FMCG companies can take this approach to evaluate the impact of new advertising campaigns and messaging strategies on consumer product use and brand perception.

Right, I’m off for a run and I’m taking lucozade for backup! Got to stay healthy!