How Purity.Organic Juiced Up Guerrilla Marketing

With a limited marketing budget at its disposal, Purity.Organic wanted to raise awareness of its organic fruit juices in a way that would garner maximum attention. By tapping ad agency McCann Erickson, New York, the juice maker placed giant straws in garbage bins around New York City to tout the health benefits of its drinks.

The giant cardboard bendy straws were planted in approximately 25 high-traffic locations to grab passersby attention. Each straw posed the question: “What are you really drinking?” to imply that other juices are not as healthy.

The budget for the campaign was limited. According to CEO Greg Holzman, the cap on costs was around $10,000. Purity.Organic bought 200 straws at a little more than $20 each.

The company removed the 7-foot straws last week. But since kicking off the effort, traffic on Purity.Organic’s site has increased and consumers have been circulating pictures of themselves online with the straws.

Purity.Organic said it received exactly the reaction it was hoping for. Some consumers, for instance, went as far as stealing straws from trash bins and became “a running billboard,” said Sean Bryan, the project’s group creative director from McCann.

The juice maker’s products sell nationwide, but New York was targeted for this campaign to raise brand awareness in an already cluttered category. New Yorkers are a “fairly in-the-know crowd to appreciate new approaches to marketing,” Bryan said.

Holzman added that the campaign was not directed at any specific New York demographic because it was done to “open the door as wide as we can” about getting people to think organically.

Aside from the straws, Purity.Organic released an online video called “Those Motherf@#!ers,” in which a businessman shouts (bleeped-out) profanities during a phone call. He takes a break to sip his Purity.Organic juice and instantly calms down and stops cussing.

Going forward, Purity.Organic is planning to plant more straws and develop a radio ad.