Welch’s Juices Up Antioxidant Message

NEW YORK Welch’s TV advertising used to be about cute kids with purple juice moustaches who loved the taste of grape. Today it’s all about mom. Specifically Gen X moms who are taking proactive steps to boost the health of their family.

This change in strategy was reflected in Welch’s new ad campaign that kicked off last night. The new ads, from JWT, New York, claim that Welch’s grape juice has twice the antioxidant power as orange juice. The 30-second spot shows a girl explaining to her dad that she’s protecting herself from the monsters in her bedroom closet by setting glasses of Welch’s grape juice on the floor. “Don’t worry daddy, the antioxidants will protect me,” she says.

“The key is we have a brand that is dead-on for the traditional wants and needs for today’s mom,” said Chris Heye, CMO of the Concord, Mass.-based company. “We needed to increase the relevancy of our juices and we have a message that does that.”

Welch’s is also making a shift in its marketing spend. It will focus more ad dollars than ever on the Web, social networking and public relations efforts. “There will be a heavy emphasis on dialogue and engagement with the consumer,” Heye said. “We think we had a successful campaign in the past that talked to mom, but now we want to talk with mom. So we’re certainly going to a lot of new places where we have a better chance for engagement to dialogue with her on that message.”

Welch’s measured media spending was $20 million last year and $6 million between January and August 2007, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.