The marketing minds behind L&P’s decision to spice up its brand

L&P has been quenching the thirst of New Zealanders since the early 1900s, when unique mineral waters were found in an underground spring near the Paeroa township. Its qualities made it valuable for medicinal purposes as well as table water and when lemon juice was added to it, Lemon & Paeroa was created.

Since then it has been represented by a number of different logos; however, all are brown and yellow. Coca-Cola Amatil head of marketing Leigh Moss (right) calls the two colours “iconic for the brand”.

And while the latest facelift by Marx Design stays true to this core, serving as more of an evolution than a total revamp.  

“It follows on from what has been happening with the brand over the past hundred years with multiple changes,” says L&P marketing manager Angela Broad (left).

The new branding also retains the tag line ‘World Famous in New Zealand,’ which has been used by L&P since 1993.

New logo and flavour

Previous branding

As well as logos, L&P has also seen a number of beverages added to the line, but the new Chili & Lime is the first to introduce additions to the lemon flavour.

In 2013, L&P Sour was introduced and its success saw it become a permanent line last year. There is also a Sugar Free L&P, introduced in 2005, before L&P Dry was created in 2009.

“One of the core things for us when we look at innovation is that it needs to very strongly enhance our base L&P,” Moss says. “It really has to reflect the lemon because that is the heart of the brand. We look for flavours that enhance that.”

For an iconic Kiwi brand, a Chili & Lime flavour is quite Mexican, however, the combination of the two cultures is not something L&P and Coca-Cola are concerned about Broad says.

“I guess it’s like anything in New Zealand. We eat very multicultural cuisines in all different flavours from around the world so its reflective of how Kiwis behave.”

Moss says chili and lime is a territory it started working on in 2012 with the Sour L&P, but back then it was “a bit ahead of its time”, so it wasn’t refined until last year.

“When we pulled it up again last year it was very much on trend,” Moss says. “There’s been a 200 percent increase in global beverage launches with chili in them so it made sense for us to bring that flavour out.”

To introduce the new flavour to consumers, L&P have called on comedians Tim Batt and Guy Montgomery, who since early this year have hosted ‘L&P Live’. The unscripted show set in a dairy tackles a variety of pressing societal issues, such as ‘vaguebooking,’ whether it’s okay to film gigs with your phone and if snakes should be introduced into New Zealand.

The latest video shows the pair describing the Chili & Lime flavor as “zesty” and “a little person climbing out of the bottle that starts kicking around in your mouth”.

It’s a similar description to that used in the graphic on the Lemon & Paeroa Facebook page, which reads “Like getting kicked by a baby Donkey”.

Although Saatchi & Saatchi conceptualised ‘L&P Live’ video initiative, L&P moved its business to DDB in early September.

At the time, Moss said: “The DDB team demonstrated a real passion for our brands and a strong desire to drive their growth. They put a huge amount of thought into how we can make these brands even more loved than they currently are, and we’re excited to see this come to life through their creative work.”

Alongside the new brand work and flavour is a reshaped bottle, which Broad says is as unique and individual as the beverage itself. She says it’s something it has wanted to do over the years and now new investment in new technology at Coca-Cola Amatil means bespoke bottles can be made for the brands.

On top of the bottle, the familiar yellow lid will remain, where it has been since the cream coloured lid was swapped out in 2012. There will also be a red lid for the Chili & Lime flavour and a white lid for the Sugar-free version to differentiate the flavours.

However, it’s unlikely any of these changes will be added to the giant L&P bottle in Paeroa. The seven-metre high bottle has been a feature of the town since its erection in 1968 but it was not originally built for that purpose. The structure was created in 1967 as a spaceship for the town’s Christmas celebrations.

Broad says since its transformation into the L&P bottle, the only paint work it has received is that to tidy it up from all the general wear and tear of being hugged a lot.

Picture on left from Teara.govt.nz

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