For those in Singapore, a mystery was revealed recently – the yellow stop advertisement panels with simple lines like “Anything can happen on May 18″ and “Get ready for Whatever at May 18″ were probably a little more literal than you’ve expected – they were a drum-up campaign for the introduction of these new can drinks – labeled of course as “Anything” and “Whatever”.
Taking the indecisive nature of some people to the fullest, these drinks might be the surprise return if you indeed answer “anything” when your friend ask what’d you like. The second surprise would be in the flavors of the drink – there are six flavors for each label – “Anything” consist the fizzy versions: cola, cola with lemon, root beer, etc. while “Whatever” are non-carbonated – e.g. ice lemon tea, chrysanthemum tea, apple tea etc. They have even purposely reduced the ingredients to non-descriptors like carbonated water, permitted flavor, fruit juice etc, so you’d have no chance of “cheating” the system than to have real random drink. (I wonder, maybe someone would go and analyze the serial numbers or something and decrypt it? Surely they must be different SKUs – but that is still rather extreme for just a can drink).
Most would see this as simply a marketing packaging, or perhaps even a passing fad that would not stand the test of market and time. That is too early to say – but as characteristics of such a gimmicky approach to beverage marketing, a hyped-up launch campaign is definitely crucial.
They took out some ads, some of which verging on the risque, e.g. the picture of a sexy woman accompanied by the line “I’m easy. I’ll take Whatever you give me”. There was a mild reaction (controversy?) to the campaign – some people think they are demeaning (which I’m fairly certain is the intention: you’d need all the publicity you can get, controversial or not – debates and letters to the newspaper forums would certainly fuel the curiosity and hype).
What they perhaps did not anticipate was a response of another kind to their ads. You see, they have lined cans around their posters (empty sealed cans). These cans were quickly vandalized – whether it be the bored teenager fiddling with it and opening the tabs, or from poor old women removing the aluminum cans for money. As a result, there were again concerns over the opened cans being a breeding ground for dengue mosquitoes – eventually the company pulled the ads down prematurely.
Youtube promo video “Anything”: