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Whom does 7UP want to ‘feel up’?

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That’s the first reaction many people give when asked for their comments on 7UP’s new positioning. Since the brand deserted Fido Dido, its ex-mascot, 7UP’s been trying hard and experts say that even if the new positioning evokes mixed reactions, it should continue with it to bring in stability.

7UP, the lemon flavoured drink from the PepsiCo stable, along with its sub-brand Nimbooz, went for a new positioning – Dil Bole I Feel Up, and a new packaging, last week.

While, KV Sridhar, National Creative Director, Leo Burnett, feels that the brand instead of progressing, has taken “two steps back”, and the new design reminds him of “a detergent, which has a lime component”; Prathap Suthan misses “consistency in the brand”. However, there’s a set of experts who have given a thumbs up to the makeover. Harish Bijoor, brand expert and CEO, Harish Bijoor Consults, finds the repositioning and packaging in “sync with the new generation”, Rahul Nanda, Chief Operating Officer, Webchutney feels, the move “will certainly generate more buzz for the brand”.

KV Sridhar, National Creative Director, Leo Burnett

It all started with Fido Dido, a doodle, becoming the face for 7UP in 1990, when the lemon flavoured drink from the stable of PepsiCo, entered the Indian market. Fido Dido became quite a rage, courtesy his unusual take on life. The brand has undergone innumerable revamps since then.

The idea of ‘upliftment’ has been a part of the brand’s positioning ever since 2009 after 7UP had established itself as ‘The Lemon Drink’. The first tagline in sync with this idea was ‘Mood Ko Do Lemon Ka Lift’. The brand later came up with different positionings such as ‘Bheja Fry 7UP Try’ and ‘Gussa Hatao Chill Macho’.

It’s gone back again to the idea of ‘upliftment’ by coining the concept of ‘UPtimism’.  Through this, the brand also aims to increase its reach in smaller towns.

Reacting to the new packaging and positioning, Bijoor says, “I think it’s in sync with the new generation. To an extent it redefines the very structure of the brand. It is fun and interesting.”

Sridhar meanwhile, finds the new design “nice and neat” but something that’s “much more static than it used to be earlier.” He adds, “So you don’t get a feeling that it is a bubbly drink. It feels more like a detergent which has a lime component.”

He feels, probably “‘Dil bole’ could have been in English and ‘I feel up’ could have been in Hindi for a greater impact.”

Prathap Suthan, Chief Creative Officer, iYogi

7UP hasn’t been very lucky when it comes to its positioning and taglines. The innumerable re-branding exercises have contributed to the brand’s instability in the minds of consumers. Suthan, meanwhile, finds the packaging “pretty average” and “nothing spectacular” and “nothing” that he hasn’t “seen before”. He, however, is somewhat conceding on the new positioning. He likes the ‘Dil Bole I Feel Up’ line, “Not for anything else, but for the fact that it can align with what people feel. Beyond just exuberant India, with a lot more. I am sure the agency (BBDO) has driven that road.” There’s “definite promise,” he feels. “Much can be done, and I suppose will be done. 7UP is brand with a lot of history and pedigree. And I have always seen the brand as a little more adult than an average fizzy cola. It’s a classier area to occupy,” he adds.

Harish Bijoor, CEO, Harish Bijoor Consults

Digging into what might make the new positioning click, Abraham Koshy, Professor of marketing at Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, says, “The present generation likes change and doesn’t want to be identified with a static brand.”

Nanda of Webchutney, adds, “The move will certainly generate more buzz for the brand, and its vibrant theme will instantly click with dynamic audiences spread across popular social networking platforms like Facebook.”

So what’s the road ahead for 7UP? Suthan believes that it will be “creative executions that will add more feel and texture to the brand’s new look, and make the packaging mean more.”

The TVC, featuring brand ambassador, Sharman Joshi, will be out later this January and the brand plans to take up several on-ground activities to further promote the new-look.

Suthan, meanwhile, has an advice for the brand. “I miss consistency in this brand. And even if people don’t buy too much into the new stance, I think the client should hang on to this without refreshing it again.”

Pitch could not get comments and reactions of Ruchira Jaitly, Executive Vice-President, Marketing, Beverages (Flavours), PepsiCo India, as we were told by 7UP’s PR handling team, that she was travelling and could not be reached.

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