The soft drink that could be creating the most "buzz" this year is not Vanilla Coke or Pepsi Blue. It's Bawls, an ultra-high-caffeine beverage that targets computer addicts and gamers.
Bawls is spiked with guarana, an Amazonian berry with 2.5 times the caffeine content as coffee. Hobarama, a Miami company founded in 1996 by Hoby Buppert, now ships more than 500,000 cases of the drink a year across the U.S. and Europe.
A new TV spot for the brand features a tired gamer going to his refrigerator late at night. A beautiful blonde pops out and hands him a bottle of Bawls.
The spot, created in-house, is airing on TechTV (a cable outlet popular with gamers); Bawls has also made several spot buys on MTV and ESPN. Another commercial is slated to debut in the fall. Print ads, by William Harris Advertising in Boca Raton, Fla., are running in magazines such as Electronic Gaming Monthly and Game Informer.
Buppert chose Bawls as the brand's name because it represents "a bold and daring state of mind," a strategy reflected in the drink's signature im age—a graphic of testicles on its bottle cap.