Which Soft Drink is Your Footy Club?
These days, marketing is all about values, product placements and brand affinities.
Plucked and solariumed marketers wearing their going-out clothes to work are constantly searching for the next brand affinity with all the fervour of a German tourist hunting for the last poolside sun lounge at a Bali hotel.
Conscious of marketers’ tight jeans and uncomfortable shoes, we at The Flack have done some of the legwork for them, identifying the great undiscovered brand affinities of our era: footy clubs and soft drinks.
Adelaide – Farmers Union Ice Coffee
With Coopers Pale Ale, Balfours pies and pasties, Fruchocs and fritz – Farmers Union Iced Coffee forms the big five of Adelaide culinary excellence. Just like Tex Walker, if any of these products plied their trade in Victoria, they would be elevated to Pantheon status. As they travel to all corners of our great brown land through a footy season, the Crows could do much to spread the Farmers Union gospel.
Brisbane – Vanilla Coke
Vanilla Coke was marketed in Australia in 2002, right in the middle of the Brisbane Lions’ premiership three-peat. At first people were curious. Some were even mildly taken by both concoctions. Then they started to make us feel sick. Eventually, they faded from view. There are considerable doubts that either will ever return to any form of prominence in Australia.
Carlton – Limonata, Crodino, Chinotto
For all those flogs who sit around in Italian cafes on Lygon Street busting out their best faux Italian accent to order crappy soft Euro drinks in tiny bottles, here’s a brand affinity you cannot resist. To those other Carlton fans who are decent people, I’m sorry, but those flogs are ruining it for everyone. Ciao!
Collingwood – Coca Cola
They are the biggest brands in their respective industries, marketed to within an inch of their lives. They have all the money and all the privilege. The both also have deep and enduring relationships with bourbon. Both claim to have miraculous healing properties, but will eventually rot your teeth.
Essendon – Vitamin Water
Not without their brand challenges, Essendon and Vitamin Water both positioned themselves as pure and full of goodness. However, further investigation has revealed a shocking truth. In hindsight, the bright colours of Vitamin Water should have been a dead giveaway that it was not a health drink. In fact, here’s a challenge: line up unmarked bottles of Vitamin Water and Essendon player urine samples and try to spot the difference.
Fitzroy – Tab
At one time had sizeable followings, now discontinued.
Fremantle – Cherry Coke
Well, if Ross Lyon is hell bent on killing Australian Rules Football, he may as well try to bring down Coca-Cola as well. Putrid.
Geelong – Fanta
Barry Stoneham, Tim McGrath, Cameron Ling, Neville Bruns, Damian Bourke, Marc Woolnough, Adrian Hickmont, Darren Forssman – Geelong’s love affair over time with footballing Fanta-Pants makes this a strategic marketing partnership that would bring a tear to the coked-up eye of any brand genius.
Gold Coast – Red Bull
Take a moment to think of how many cans of Red Bull are consumed on the Gold Coast during schoolies. Staggering. Truly staggering.
Greater Western Sydney – Soda Stream
Both sound good in theory, but will ultimately prove to be testament to our capacity to dream – and to have those dreams destroyed by reality. A never-ending supply of soft drinks? A never-ending supply of new AFL fans? Not in this lifetime, champ.
Hawthorn – Bundaberg Ginger Beer
Both tout themselves as family enterprises and appear to have been landed with the horrific brown and yellow colour combination by choice. They deserve each other. The colour blind leading the colour blind.
Melbourne – Sarsaparilla
Big in the 1960s, now considered largely unpalatable and beyond redemption.
North Melbourne – Solo
Both brands hope against hope that their ultra-macho images will compensate for their general irrelevance.
Port Adelaide – LA Ice Cola
I would say Pepsi, because both Port and Pepsi see themselves their rightful position ahead of Collingwood and Coke respectively. But Pepsi is just too rich to be Port. LA Ice Cola is a better fit – it screams social disadvantage. LA Ice Cola sells for less than half the price of its rivals. Port gets half the crowd of its main rival.
Richmond – Passiona
Enormous in the ’70s and ’80s. People couldn’t get enough of either. Marketers believe there are masses of latent support for Passiona out there just waiting to stir at the first sign of resurgence. For the past 15 years running, industry judges have ranked Passiona the ninth most popular soft drink in Australia.
Saint Kilda – Midori
Is Midori a soft drink? It has been the most-poured drink by St Kilda players for the last two decades.
Sydney – Sprite
Consistent, under the radar, get the job done – Sydney and Sprite are made for each other. Sprite originally entered the market to knock off a rival brand, and now occupies the number-one position of all lemonades. The Swans have won over the Harbour City and regularly draw crowds bigger than those that attend NRL games. Time for Sprite to kick off a No Dickheads promotion.
West Coast – West Coast Cooler
Okay, not a soft drink, but this partnership is irresistible: like Cox and Natanui, or Kerr and taxis.
Western Bulldogs – Cottees
Unable to afford bubbles or flavours, the Doggies originally sign up tap water for their drink partnership. AFL intervenes and in equalisation arrangements forces a partnership with Cottees cordial.