Bottled Fusion Water Is on Tap From Virgin Drinks

Virgin Drinks Co., with a little help from Mullen/LHC, is unveiling its new line of noncarbonated, vitamin- and mineral-enhanced bottled water.

The new line from the Wilton, Conn.-based client, known as Fusion Water, will roll out in select markets this month.

Long Haymes Carr of Winston-Salem, N.C., became Virgin Drinks’ lead agency in April 2000, replacing Ground Zero, Santa Monica, Calif., which had helped launch Virgin Cola in the U.S. in 1998 with the tagline, “Say something.” LHC’s creative work was first displayed in the form of product graphics, packaging and booth presentation at Fusion Water’s industry launch last December at the International Beverage Show in New Orleans.

Interpublic Group sister shops LHC and Mullen, Wenham, Mass., were merged earlier this year. Mullen/LHC is now called upon to relaunch the Virgin name into the new age market of healthy beverages following the cola’s tepid consumer response in the U.S.

Creative development for radio and outdoor advertising, along with possible other media, is still in the early stages. New work will appear in late April or May in the key markets of Northern and Southern California and the Northeast, Mullen/LHC vice president and account manager Tim Clark told Adweek.

The agency plans to expand into other markets for which the client has distribution plans soon thereafter, according to Clark. The budget was not disclosed.

A Mullen/LHC-crafted public relations effort is also under way.

“When people think of the Virgin brand, they think innovation and quality from their experience with the Virgin Megastores and the [Virgin Atlantic] airline,” Clark said.

Fusion Water will be available in five flavors: Raspberry Tea, Lemon Cherimoya, Peach Feijoa, Grapefruit Lulo and Tangerine Mango.

Virgin Drinks will distribute the product line in Southern California through the Haralambos Beverage Co.; in Northern California viathe Seven-Up Bottling Co.; andin the Northeast through AtlasDistributing.