The branding equivalent of mission impossible.


When I worked at Young & Rubicam, with art director Paul Pickersgill, it was very competitive.  You had to fight hard to get on the better accounts and to be given the best briefs.  Commuting daily from Bristol (me) and Weston super Mare (Paul) we were viewed as total yokels by those living in cool Camden, Battersea and Highgate – so we started right at the bottom and had a real uphill struggle.  The only way was to take the jobs nobody else wanted and do something that surprised people.

The good news

When this one landed on our desk it looked quite good – a premium orange juice made in Belgium that was about to launch in the UK.  On the plus side it was only made from the best and most expensive Florida oranges, rather than a blend of oranges from less respected orange growing countries – there was a good product provenance story.  Oh, and it came in a wacky bottle.

The bad news

On the downside it had a name that might have been fine in Belgium but wasn’t going to work over here – LOOZA.  Who would want to be seen drinking a juice that suggested they were a loser?  On top of that there was virtually no budget and no distribution.  I think only one supermarket was going to stock it, and they demanded a token gesture of marketing support – a few ads in lifestyle magazines, and one in The Grocer trade publication.

The answer – think harder

It occurred to me that this was an “elephant in the room” situation.  You could either tiptoe around the problem pretending it wasn’t there.  Or you could tackle it head on.  We went for the latter.  We had to keep production costs to a minimum otherwise we’d have no money left for media.  An expensive shoot in Florida, or hiring a celebrity, were both out of the question – so the obvious/lazy creative routes were closed off.

Tell the truth – now that’s an unusual approach!

Perhaps we could make a virtue of necessity and create ads that looked low budget…because all the money had been spent on buying the best Florida oranges? That would instantly give it a look that would make it stand out from all the other orange juices with their glossy production values.  So instead of a “proper” packshot we’d have a Polaroid (this was way back, in the dark ages before digital). Or the bottle on a brick wall in cloudy Britain, rather than on a sun kissed beach.

Make the name more meaningful 

That still left us with the name problem.  So we changed it from LOOZA to LOZA and wrote this strapline:

Loads spent On the fruit Zilch on the Advertising


The creative director was happy, the account team was happy, the client was happy, and we were happy.  The ads ran, in a few obscure publications, and we had one trade ad in The Grocer.  The product never took off – but you can still buy it on the continent.