Purple Ronnie has been given the push by soft drinks brand Vimto after failing to convert new drinkers.
Research by the brand found that while existing consumers liked the character, which has been the face of Vimto’s advertising campaign for seven years, he lacked appeal among non-Vimto drinkers.
Purple Ronnie’s swansong was with last year’s VIMTO ads, themed around the 1970s’ dance-floor classic DISCO.
Replacing Ronnie is an ad campaign called Shlurple the Purple, which will encourage drinkers to rediscover the child
within and consume the drink in a fun manner.
Three 20-second adverts, called Head, Lips and Ears, which show strange reactions to people enjoying the products, are being aired from May 1 on TV and in cinemas throughout July and August.
The campaign is being backed by £4m, Vimto’s biggest marketing spend to date.
Vimto has also introduced new-look packaging across its entire portfolio to give the brand a single-minded design, according to brand manager Claire Nield. The design, which retains its strong emphasis on the colour purple, will bring packaging synergy to Vimto cordials, soft drinks and ice lollies.
Nichols, which owns Vimto, is also launching three brand extensions. A still variant of the carbonated drink Sunkist and two functional variants of its Indigo drink will be launched in the next few months.
Stefan Chomka