Josta failed due to Pepsi marketing misfire.
Most people who tried Josta, loved it. But who tried?
Imagine this: It's hot out, you've been working in the sun and you
are REALLY thirsty. What goes through your mind? Water, maybe
water flavored as something: Coke, Pepsi, fruit juice... Beer?
There are nearly an infinite number of possibilities that might present themselves in your moment of thirst, but let me ask this:
Did you think of a cat?
Do cats make you think of quenched thirst, or an enjoyable
drinking experience? No.
So no matter how cool the advertising and Josta panther (Zastra?) might have looked, it had no ability to successfully associate the action of drinking to the Josta drink.
I don't believe cats or any animal are ever going to work for selling a mass-market soft drink. I can't think of any soda pop that used one aside from Josta. Animals are smelly, wild and sometimes cute creatures, but they aren't soda pop flavors. Gross.
A more traditional plan is called for.
Is there a Mt. Dew mountain goat? No. Is there a Dr. Pepper,
I dunno, grasshopper? Nope. Why was there a Josta cat? I know Sobe has the lizard, but Sobe isn't sold as a cold, refreshing soft drink. It's weird, herbal, tea-related and what the healthy minded sort might be inclined to drink. It's not your average party cooler fare.
Sure, there are guys like the Nestle Quick rabbit, but Quickie and his kind are cute animals that possess human-like personalities. That's a completely different scenario: We aren't talking about making commercials with cartoons that will inspire kids to drag their parents to stores to buy them some; no, we're talking about a more adult target market.
There are ways to project the image of Josta being exotic while
at the same time communicating the fact that it's flavorful
and desirable as a drink.
Pepsi needs to reevaluate Josta's labeling and design a new
marketing scheme. It can work. We need to let them know there are thousands of us still waiting! Here's how you can help.
Contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org