Ad Nut
Aug 25, 2022

Does this Sprite ad promote its competitors?

A curious campaign by Ogilvy leaves audiences wondering if the beverage brand is advertising for its competitors.

To launch Sprite Zero Sugar in mainland China, The Coca-Cola Company aimed to trick consumers by teasing a label that looks like their competitor's. The Zero Sugar has a different packaging to Sprite’s signature green hue, and instead has a white, clear bottle that uncannily resembles that of its competitor in China. From Ad Nut’s limited knowledge of Chinese fizzy drinks brands, Ad Nut assumes the competitor in the ad that’s subliminally referenced is Genki Forest.

The brand film opens with a wide-angled, blurred frame that shows two bottles side-by-side. On the right, Ad Nut makes up Sprite’s green packaging, and on the left a silhouette of a white bottle looks mysterious indeed. The camera progressively zooms in to reveal that the bottle on the left is Sprite’s new Zero Sugar packaging. It’s bold for a brand to package a product so similarly to that of its competitor, and Ad Nut really enjoys this campaign’s unserious ability to reflect on that fact.

The end of the film also reveals an AR mobile experience where users can win a free Sprite Zero Sugar for every competitors’ product they can via WeChat’s embedded functionality. This, of course, is not a new idea. We all know about that Burger King campaign.

This campaign was conceptualised by Ogilvy Shanghai's OpenX team—WPP's bespoke unit for The Cola-Cola Company.

Ad Nut is a surprisingly literate woodland creature that for unknown reasons has an unhealthy obsession with advertising. Ad Nut gathers ads from all over Asia and the world for your viewing pleasure, because Ad Nut loves you. You can also check out Ad Nut's Advertising Hall of Fame, or read about Ad Nut's strange obsession with 'murderous beasts'.


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