In late last year Suja Juice, a relatively new player in the Super-Food market, used a clever marketing ploy when introducing a new mystery product which sold it out in a matter of hours. In the leadup to the release of their limited edition, charcoal based health drink they cleverly and very selectively shipped complementary cases of the product to celebrities, companies and public figures they knew already had a consumer relationship with the brand. Upon receiving the juice these influencers, all of whom have strong social media presence, of course took the opportunity to share their experiences of it with their followers.
As a result of this clever ploy; significant hype was created and upon the release of the juice the demand was so high that not only did it sell out, it overloaded and crashed their website before doing so.
There are examples of this kind of phenomena happening in a different way over the history of social media but the most extreme example has to be such as Mark Zuckerberg’s unpaid endorsement of the iGrill in 2012. The single post of praise for the innovative and “cool” design features from Zuckerberg also subsequently crashed the iGrill website with consumers flocking to get one of their own.
An interesting development and a critical difference between the kinds of endorsement like Zuckerbergs vs Suja Juice is how deliberate it was. Zuckerberg having apparently purchased the iGrill on his own and having no stake in or prompting from the iGrill company itself endorsed it of his own free will. Suja Juice on the other hand used a carefully planned marketing strategy and made deliberate decisions throughout; ensuring for themselves a similar effect without needing to pay for endorsement. I think one thing to mention is that in both cases the products themselves were responsible; both being viewed by their consumers as effective and worthwhile. CMO of Suja Juice Heather MacNeil Cox said that “We chose influencers that have been organic fans of the brand since the beginning, people that love and drink Suja on their own,” and “The Midnight Tonic surprise shipment was a way to thank them for their support, and also re-engage in a conversation about something new and cool.” she then went on to conclude “I think it is more important than ever to look beyond advertising, both traditional and non-traditional, to stay connected with consumers,” quaintly finishing with “We as consumers are programmed to see not only more, but also better optimized, advertising every day.”
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