NYC is dealt lemons in Snapple deal, fails to make lemonade

So, apparently Snapple’s run as the official drink of New York City is not going so well. Under a deal struck two years ago, NYC agreed to let Snapple sell drinks in city-owned buildings in exchange for cash and tourism promotion. But the program has fallen way short of sales targets (like, $93 million short). In my experience, Snapple has never done all that well with marketing in NYC. I remember back in September 2002, the company managed to get the Empire State Building lit up all in yellow—the first time it had veered from red, white and blue since Sept. 11, 2001, and the first time it had honored a company in lights in seven years (in 1995, it was red, green and yellow for Microsoft’s Windows 95 launch). Anyway, I went to the observation deck to ask tourists what they thought, for Adweek’s Shoptalk column. People were none too impressed. “It’s wrong. This country’s too commercial already,” said one. Added another: “If I ask for iced tea and they’ve only got Snapple, I tell them I’ll have water.” But the best response came from a security guard. Asked why the lights were yellow, she said, “We’ve been telling people it’s Banana Day. It’s just yellow tonight. We don’t know why.”

—Posted by Tim Nudd