How Pocari Sweat Launched A Killer Advertising Campaign.

“If you market to everyone, you market to no one.”

Marketing departments often repeat this quote because customers rarely have so much in common that one product could apply to everyone. By appealing to everyone, any marketing campaign could lose the connection to the customer, which is crucial for leaving an impression. Here is an example where a commercial marketed to teenagers and young adults achieved an incredible reaction with millions of views on youtube and even more over television.

Pocari Sweat, a sport drink manufactured by Otsuka Pharmaceutical, was recently featured in a series of incredible drink advertisements in Japan and has become my favorite creative marketing campaign. A humble sport drink packed with electrolytes, vitamins, and sugars that help replenish energy to the drinker pursued the same path as other sport drinks as advertising for greater physical potential, and overall energy replenishment. The commercial advertisements were run with the theme: “Your Dream is My Dream” and split into four videos. They were named “Yell (Cheer)”, “Thanks”, “Commencement”, and “School Trip”.

The first two videos, “Yell (Cheer)” and “Thanks” had lyrics expressing the sport manager support for the sport teams through the hardship of training, and the sport teams giving thanks for the presence of those who kept them going respectively. The third and fourth video “Commencement” and “School Trip” showed the joys of being together and the excitement for the future ahead, followed by a school trip to show the bonds that were made between students.

Yell & Thanks
Commencement & School Trip

This is what these videos did well:

Commercial Quality:

This may seem basic, but the commercial was well edited, had a simple yet emotional soundtrack, and choreography that not only illustrated a prevalent and popular dance but also incorporated the lyrics of the song. The mouthing of the words paired with the choreography tied the audios and visuals together, creating a cohesive and simple visual experience. This method weaved the story that this video could have been made then and there as if a student recorded it. After the emotional connection was established, the commercials ended with

潜在能力を引き出せ
自分は、きっと想像以上だ

The characters mean that the potential is for you to draw out, and that you can do more than you can imagine. (With a supplement drink such as Pocari Sweat of course.)

Chronological Connection:

The videos were launched around the time when students were facing similar activities. As mentioned, the target persona is crucial, and by releasing the commercial to form a connection to the target audience. I feel that this was incredibly smart to have the advertisement grow and face the same situations that the target audience faces.

Personally, despite not even being Japanese, I grew an emotional attachment to this advertisement simply because I was constantly being told to pursue and find my potential after college. Just shows, for a sample of one, how appealing to a target age can specify the meaning of the commercial without sacrificing connection.

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