Sprite (soft drink)

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Sprite
Sprite logo.jpg
Current Sprite logo introduced in 2009.
TypeLemon-lime
ManufacturerThe Coca-Cola Company
Introduced1961
ColorColorless
 
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Sprite
Sprite logo.jpg
Current Sprite logo introduced in 2009.
TypeLemon-lime
ManufacturerThe Coca-Cola Company
Introduced1961
ColorColorless

Sprite is a colorless, lemon-lime flavored, caffeine-free soft drink, created by the Coca-Cola Company. It was introduced in the United States in 1961. This was Coke's response to the popularity of 7 Up. It comes in a primarily silver, green, and blue can or a green transparent bottle with a primarily green and blue label.

History[edit]

Sprite was introduced in the United States in 1961 to compete against 7-Up. It had originated in Germany as Clear Lemon Fanta. It is a common misconception that the name was inspired by illustrator Haddon Sundblom's "Sprite Boy" character, which had been the Coca-Cola mascot in ad campaigns of the 1940s and 1950s. In the 1980s, many years after Sprite's introduction, Coke pressured its large bottlers which distributed 7-Up to replace the competitor with the Coca-Cola product. In large part due to the greater strength of the Coca-Cola network of bottlers, Sprite finally became the market leader position in the lemon-lime soda category in 1978.[citation needed]

Marketing[edit]

Over the years, Sprite advertising has used the portmanteau word lymon, combining the words lemon and lime, to describe the flavor of the drink.

Sprite's slogans in the 60s and 70s ranged from "Taste Its Tingling Tartness," "Naturally Tart," and "It's a Natural!" and "It's Sprite!"

Sprite started its most memorable campaign in the early 1980s with the words "Great Lymon Taste Makes it Sprite" which remained on the logo for many years.

By the 1980s Sprite had begun to have a large following among teenagers; marketing ads for the product were changed to cater to this demographic in 1987. "I Like the Sprite in You" was their first long-running slogan. Many versions of the jingle were made during that time to fit various genres. The slogan was used until 1994.

In 1994 Sprite created a newer logo that stood out from their previous logos. The main coloring of the product's new logo was blue blending into green with silver "splashes," and subtle small white bubbles were on the background of the logo. The word 'Sprite' had a blue backdrop shadow on the logo, and the words "Great Lymon Taste!" were removed from the packaging. This was the official American logo until 2006.

During 1994, the slogan was also changed to "Obey Your Thirst" and was set to the urban crowd with a hip-hop theme song. One of the first lyrics for the new slogan were, "Never forget yourself 'cause first things first, grab a cold, cold can, and obey your thirst."

Toward the late 1990s most of Sprite's advertisements featured amateur and famous basketball players. The tagline for most of these ads was, "Image is nothing. Thirst is everything. Obey your thirst."

In 1998, one commercial poked fun at products with cartoon mascots. In the commercial, a mother serves up two glasses of a fictitious product called "Sun Fizz" for her kids. The kids are thrilled, saying that it's their favorite. Then the product's mascot, a sun character with blue eyes, a red bow tie, and a high-pitched Mickey Mouse-like voice, pops out saying that "there's a delicious ray of sunshine in every drop." The mother and her kids scream in horror and run while the sun character chases them around the house asking why they're running from him. After the mom trips and tells her kids to keep running, the viewer is left to wonder what will happen to her. Finally, the commercial's message is given: "Trust your gut, not some cartoon character."[1]

In the 1990s, one of Sprite's longest-running ad campaigns was "Grant Hill Drinks Sprite" (overlapping its "Obey Your Thirst" campaign), in which the well-liked basketball player's abilities, and Sprite's importance in giving him his abilities, were humorously exaggerated.[2][3]

Also in the 1990s, Sprite launched the short-lived but memorable "Jooky" ad campaign. The 30-second television spots poked fun at other soft drinks' perceived lack of authenticity, ridiculous loyalty programs and, in particular, the grandiose, bandwagon-driven style of advertising popular among other soft drink manufacturers, notably Pepsi. The tagline for these spots was "Image is nothing. Thirst is everything. Obey your thirst."[4][5]

For a time, one of Sprite's recognisable mascots was a sickly-looking goblin (an alternate version of the normal depiction of a sprite) that would cause trouble for those unlucky enough to aqcuire it.

In 2000, Sprite commissioned graffiti artist Temper to design a limited edition can which saw the design on 100 million cans across Europe.

In 2004, Coke created Miles Thirst, a vinyl doll voiced by Reno Wilson, used in advertising to exploit the hip-hop market for soft drinks.[6]

In 2006, a new Sprite logo, consisting of two yellow and green "halves" forming an "S" lemon/lime design, began to make its debut on Sprite bottles and cans. The slogan was changed from its long running "Obey Your Thirst" to just "Obey". The advertisement themes received their first major change for this decade as well.

The "Sublymonal" campaign was also used as part of the alternate reality game the Lost Experience.[7] This also resurrected the "lymon" word.

Sprite redesigned their label in 2009, removing the aforementioned "S" logo after just two years. The new design, which features yet another new revision of the main Sprite logo, bears much resemblance to the 1994 revamp.

In France in 2012, the drink was reformulated removing 30% of the sugar and replacing it with the sweetener Stevia.[8] This led to the drink containing less calories. This soon spread to Ireland and the UK in 2013.

Variations[edit]

Three Sprite cans produced in China (from left to right): Sprite Icy Mint, Sprite On Fire, and Sprite

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]