Monster Goes Small While Amp Goes Big


There is a moment before the moment when you get “Amped up” to race a car, get your first tattoo or take the stage. Amp Energy is trying to own that moment, that nervous energy, in its new ad campaign which broke during the Daytona 500.

The brand positioning is apropos for the hard-charging PepsiCo-owned energy drink. The No. 4 brand in the category continues to make its move with the help of a big budget media spend (it will shell out in excess of $20 million this year ) and its high-profile partnership with Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Will it ever reach the moment where it gets to occupy the No. 1 pole position currently held by Red Bull? Amp’s marketing director Maurice Herrera thinks so. “We’re working on that. I’m very much anticipating that.”

Meanwhile, rival Monster Energy has other plans. The brand is currently No. 1 in volume by virtue of the fact that its primary product comes in a 16-oz. can. Red Bull, best known for its 8.3-oz. can, is still No. 1 in terms of sales, however.

Monster, which helped reinvent the category by rolling out the larger size can, is hoping to do it again. Only this time it is looking to go smaller by focusing on a 3-oz. energy shot. It has already introduced the Monster Hitman Energy Shooter and is prepping a Monster branded item instead of the current sub-line. “Not to be arrogant, but when we innovate, the category follows,” said Monster Beverage president Mark Hall. He said other new “novel innovations” are also ready to debut.

The energy shot category leader is currently 5-hour Energy, a brand owned by Living Essentials, which by Hall’s summation is “a direct response company that sells [penis enlargement pills] and the Chaser hangover pill. They are currently the leader by a wide margin, but they don’t have the distribution system, product or packaging to sustain it.”

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