Are you ready for another innovation in the world of soft drinks? Let's see whether the latest offering from the world-famous marketer of carbonated syrup excites you.
That poor carbohydrate molecule is one despised dude these days. Even with the seeming death of the Atkins fad, people still gravitate toward sugar-free soda formulations. Over the past year, Coca-Cola has introduced Coca-Cola Zero and Diet Coke with Splenda, each attempting to reach out to the crowd of dieters who are eschewing the core Coca-Cola brand and its devious sugary liquid.
I have to admit, I didn't know a lot about the energy drink category (aside from that Red Bull commercial) before writing this article. So I decided to head on over to the Full Throttle website to dig up some information. I saw lots of flashy graphics tied to a sort of tough-guy theme. Included were the following: a sweepstakes relating to poker, a page where you can send "e-sults" (which are emails meant to insult, apparently), and, dominating the middle of the site, a black Full Throttle can with a fiery logo in the middle, reminiscent of big hair metal band imagery from the '80s.
Now I have something else to admit: Even after studying the Full Throttle website, I still don't know a lot about the energy drink category. But I do know this: I love that my company Coca-Cola (I own shares, after all) is getting down and dirty (in a benevolent sense, of course) and really promoting a great image for this product.
Coca-Cola has been struggling the last several years, as this chart demonstrates, and many observers -- including myself -- believe that the company has to get its marketing act together to increase the all-important case-volume metric (see Tom Taulli's commentary on Coca-Cola's latest earnings).
OK, maybe I found out a little something about Full Throttle. Apparently, you not only get your daily dose of caffeine with it, but you also receive helpings of B-vitamins and ginseng extract, among other cool stuff. I find it somewhat ironic that drink that are supposed to give you energy want to go sugar-free, but I think this is a marketing experiment that Full Throttle needs to undergo. Brand extensions are important to the long-term success of Coca-Cola and its ongoing rivalry with PepsiCo
For now, even though the capital appreciation has been decidedly pressured, Coca-Cola shareholders can at least count on the blue chip to raise its dividend consistently. As long as its dividend record holds, Coke might still be it.
Pop open more thirst-quenching Takes:
Refresh yourself at the Coca-Cola discussion board.