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October 24, 2008

Thirsty for Relaxed Brand Naming or Pepper's New Product Naming Edge?

drank625oct22.pngMost carbonated drinks promise to give you energy, but at least one new beverage offers relaxation. Maybe even too much of it.

It's brand name is "Drank" and it is sold as a "Relaxed Energy Drink." In fact, above the name is the proclamation "anti-energy." In addition, its slogan is "slow your roll" and the product logo is "suggestive of a cough syrup bottle."

Although it seems that you cannot just toss back a few Drank's in a complete state of relaxation. The drink actually contains melatonin, a hormone naturally produced by our brains to regulate circadian rhythms (rhythmical biological processes, such as heartbeat). There is even a warning label on the side cautioning consumers not to drink more than two cans in 24 hours.

The name is interesting enough, but the warning label is what I find most intriguing, as does the Illinois attorney general's office, who wonders if that's a "marketing tool" or a legitimate warning?

The brand naming and packaging has a street reference - apparently there is an underground substance called "Purple drank" (note the purple Drank can), which is a cocktail made up of codeine-laced cough syrup and soda. At least one rap star, DJ Screw, has died from drinking too much, er, drank.

Fact is, the warning is not required but the clear reference to "Purple drank" has several groups worried. My feeling is that it is quite unique for a company to create a warning label of its own and actual tell consumers to limit their intake. Even beer companies don't go that far.

But then again, this could be part of the ever-edgier strategy of soft drink companies, lending a little naughtiness to their offerings.

drpepperaxlgnr_l.pngAnother case in point of a drink company looking to get down and dirty is Dr. Pepper.

Barry Manilow once penned their "Be a Pepper" song decades ago, but more recently Dr. Pepper has teamed up with Guns N' Roses.

They are offering a free can of Dr. Pepper to everyone in the USA as part of the promo for the Gunners' new album "Chinese Democracy."

The new can actually features a picture of Axl Rose in what seems like an aggressive attempt to give a little edge to the Dr. Pepper name.

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Posted by William Lozito at October 24, 2008 10:58 AM
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