When Jacob Schweppe discovered a way to manufacture carbonated beverages, he refined and patented his own process of creating mineral water and gave the world –Schweppervescence. With a long standing legacy, today this drink separates men from boys and women from girls. Schweppeswas introduced in India in 1999, and has since been the favourite for its niche audience.
What stands out about the brand is its advertising journey. With unique, entertaining tag lines and communication since the last 200 years, the brand has made sure the audience falls in love with it every single time.
1783: The Birth of a Brand
Schweppes was born in 1783, in Geneva, under the guidance of Jacob Schweppe when he discovered a way to manufacture carbonated mineral water. It soon expanded to England where consumers used the drink to settle upset stomachs and other ailments of the time.
1870s: Schweppes Tonic Water
Schweppes Tonic Water became available in the 1870s, and throughout the years, Schweppes was never a stranger to advertising as their promotions consisted of newspaper advertising and even lit up Piccadilly Circus with a moving neon sign.
Unfortunately, during Second World War in 1939, the brand disappeared from the shelves. While the war made the production of Schweppes impossible, consumers were assured that Schweppes would soon return when it ended. Against the general notion that advertising without a product would be counterproductive, when the print ads stressed that Schweppes would one day return and with it the normalcy of pre-war life, the brand successfully created a strong connection with its consumers.
By 1945, the war had ended, but Schweppes Tonic Water was still not available. Nevertheless, under the guidance of the S.T. Garland advertising agency, the tagline,“What you need is Schweppervescence” was created to continue to promote the brand.
The public first saw the word as it hung on banners at railway stations for the Victory Parade held on 8th June 1946 in London. Within two years, the popular drink was back on the shelves, and Schweppervescence finally meant something to everyone.
“Schweppervescence” made consumers feel optimistic and gave Schweppes instant recognition in the market place. It also gave the brand a talking point, playing on the drink’s bubbly effervescence.
(Fact: the famous advertising tagline ‘Schhh... Schweppes’ was created to evoke the sound of the gas escaping as a bottle is opened).
The word became so important to the brand, that when the account moved to another agency, Garland was paid so Schweppes could continue using Schweppervescence.
1951: Schweppshire County
When the Bloxham agency took over the Schweppes advertising in 1951, there were only few rules established for the advertising. It should be unique, it had to entertain, and the ads needed to invoke a love for Schweppes and all its products. Soon, Schweppshire was born.
Schweppshire was drawn as a fanciful county in Great Britain with its own language, cast of characters and coat of arms without once showing the product, but rather running the tag line,“Schweppervescence lasts the whole drink through” along the bottom of the ad. For 14 years, Stephen Potter wrote the copy and George Him brought the imaginary county to life through his drawings. The public came to know the inhabitants of Schweppshire, as Potter and Him released six new ads every year.
The Schweppshire ads painted a picture of quintessential British humour that enlightened and delighted viewers, even across the pond. From the county Crest that included a lion wearing a bowler hat and holding an umbrella to Christmas Schwepping on Oxford Street, the iconic advertisements will live long in the memory.
Not to be content in England a spinoff appeared named, Schweppsylvania, which introduced British readers to life in the 49th state of America. They were just as humorous, and Potter poked fun atall things American -from the nation’s love affair with cars to the “bigness” of the country.
2014: In India, for the experienced
Schweppes came to India in 1999.Its iconic ads in 2014 created a ripple through the audience. Smart and classy, just like the drink, they talked about separating women from girls, men from boys (since 1783). The communication was specifically targeted to the mature, experienced audience.