Robinsons ‘Get Thirsty’: Gargling choir is a gaga idea

robinsonsWell, apparently summer is now well and truly on its way and – as if by coincidence – so is the first brand campaign for Britvic-owned Robinsons since the 200-year-old squash unveiled what was claimed to be a “radical rebrand” of “Get Thirsty” in March.

Created by Saatchi & Saatchi and launching with a primetime ITV slot during Saturday’s Britain’s Got Talent, the campaign introduces consumers to Robinsons’ new brand idea through a gargling choir, who congregate to refresh, perform and gargle together. Yep, you read that correctly – they are gargling not drinking.

Running across TV, out of home, video on demand and social throughout the summer with paid media managed and bought by mSix&Partners, the work uses a gargling choir and a fresh visual world to launch Get Thirsty, a new concept designed to celebrate the things in life that make us thirsty.

The TV spot depicts an choir of all ages assembled on the steps of a park. Dressed in a array of pinks, oranges, yellows and purples, the singers are seen warming up with vocal exercises and taking sips of squash, before they gather in front of a conductor, ready to perform with refreshed glasses in hand.

Following her cue, they lift their heads and glasses together, take a deep swig, and gargle their way through a rendition of Girl on Fire by Alicia Keys.

According to the official blurb, at least, this is a “marked shift of direction for the brand”, which places “unbridled and infectious joy at the heart of the creative. Repositioning thirst – usually thought about as a negative state – as a sign of life being lived to the full, the film intercuts with fleeting and subtle product shots, placing Robinsons at the heart of the work”. If you say so,

Britvic and Saatchi & Saatchi also partnered with creator commerce company Whalar to build and launch a dedicated TikTok filter and challenge, Guess My Gargle, in which TikTokers can ham their way through their favourite tunes.

Robinsons marketing director Charlotte White said: “As the category leader with a drink enjoyed by so many families we wanted to use our advertising to also bring a moment of enjoyment to an ad break. Saatchi & Saatchi’s gargling choir was a route we simply couldn’t resist – not only is it impossible not to crack a smile, but it also intrinsically linked our product to the creative.

“This campaign was a collaborative undertaking from the start, with media strategy sitting alongside the creative from day one. With a second phase still to come, we’re excited to see it unroll, and are looking forward to getting the nation gargling.”

Saatchi & Saatchi chief creative officer Franki Goodwin added: “Our choir’s spirit is utterly infectious, and feels like a real celebration of life’s thirsty moments.”

So, what is the consensus around the Decision Marketing office?

Well, to be honest, we have never been big fans of “squash” here; our drink of choice is something more grown-up, in fact anything rather than sickly sweet gloop. Still, Robinsons has been on the market since 1823 so they must have been doing something right.

But sadly this isn’t it as the ad actually makes us feel sick rather than thirsty.

While showing people gargling might be de rigueur for an antiseptic mouthwash, for a thirst-quenching drink it is a big fat no-no from us – no matter how tuneful and diverse the choir is. Anyway, whatever happened to “Anything else just isn’t tennis”?

Decision Marketing Adometer: A ‘gagging not gargling’ 4 out of 10

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