First, Lori Shea’s marketing class at Omaha North High School created the character Zack, a blond, blue-eyed extreme-sports lover with an attitude. The cool kid embodied the target market for the new sports drink the class was assigned to create.
“When making up our ad, we always went back to him to think of what he would like, not what we would like,” says Rachel Irwin.
Working with Lincoln, Neb., agency Bailey Lauer man for about a month, the students also delved into category research to craft their positioning. Examining the sales performance of various sports drinks, they found that the products are a best seller at gas stations.
That gave the students a hook for their product, allowing them to link the idea of replenishing the body with filling up at a gas station. To make the drink stand out enough to pique Zack’s interest, they decided they needed a unique container. A brainstorming session produced a bottle in the shape of a fuel-additive container.
The idea for the name came naturally from the shape of the bottle. Creatives at Bailey Lauerman had a photographer shoot “Zack.” Letting the visuals take center stage, the students kept the copy to a minimum with the simple tag, “22 ounces of liquid attitude.”
“We learned a lot from the agency,” says Kristen Sears. “But they also learned a lot from us, like how teens think and what goes through our heads when we see an ad.”