iSnack rages on

Thursday, 05 November 2009 01:00

While Australia has calmed down after the iSnack marketing fiasco, in the international domain the issue still resonates.

The NY Times has just run an article looking at this repackaging of Vegemite. They've asked what happens when an iconic brand such as Vegemite changes its ingredients and releases it under a slightly bizarre new name. Well it seems that you get cries of outrage, and huge media coverage. But is that a marketing failure or a publicity coup?

That success led many to question whether the entire campaign was a well-concocted publicity stunt; another rehash of Coca-Cola's famous launch of New Coke in 1985, which was hated by the public, but somehow served to bolster consumer loyalty to the Coke brand.

"Kraft has turned a fairly pedestrian product launch into a matter of public pride and public ownership and affinity for the Vegemite brand," Gerry McCusker, a senior creative and PR counsel said. "That's what today's media thrives on: the conversations, the open expression of opinions, the love, the hate, the passion - and we're talking about a jar of spread."

But what is the long term impact on the success of this product and it's branding? It seems that it comes down to old fashioned taste. "If people like the taste of it, they'll keep buying it - if they don't, they won't," Paul Harrison, a marketing professor at Deakin University said. "Ultimately, you don't want people thinking too much about your brand, you want people to become habitual about it."

Read the article here.