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05/19/2021

Ahold Delhaize Has an Aha Moment

Jacqueline Barba
Associate Editor, Path to Purchase Institute
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Ahold Delhaize USA has been supporting new launches from Coca-Cola’s Aha and Smartwater brands as the former enjoys its first major ad campaign since its nationwide debut a year ago.

Aha and Smartwater both began rolling out new SKUs to select retailers on March 1. Aha added two new flavors ("raspberry + acai" and "mango + black tea") to its existing lineup of six sparkling water flavors. The new flavors are available in eight-packs of 12-ounce cans and in 16-ounce individual cans. The mango + black tea flavor also includes caffeine. 

Smartwater launched a new line of “infused hydration options” offering “unique ingredient pairings and real flavor extracts tailored for specific wellness occasions,” a media release from the brand said. Smartwater+ comprises three SKUs: Smartwater+ clarity, Smartwater+ tranquility and Smartwater+ renew.

Select Ahold chains have been highlighting the new SKUs through subtle circular features and email ads. This month, co-marketed digital display ads added support across Stop & Shop, Giant Food, the Giant Company, Food Lion and Hannaford websites. The ads communicated a “Doubly delightful flavors in every cAHAn” message for Aha and a “Smartwater+ hydration for your wellness” message for Smartwater. A “Shop Now” button linked to an e-commerce shop listing product from both brands.

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Stop & Shop went a step further than its sister chains. The grocer promoted a "two for $3" deal on Smartwater+ SKUs and a "two for $6" deal on Aha combination flavor cans, from May 7-13, using a home page carousel ad. A “Shop Now” button linked to a dedicated e-commerce shop listing participating product and depicting the same ad at the top.

This month, the Path to Purchase Institute also spotted Aha-branded floorstands stocking 16-ounce individual cans and communicating the same “Doubly delightful” messaging in the beverage aisle at the Giant Company. The floorstand also encourages shoppers to “Meet our newest pAHAir.”

The latest marketing push at Ahold for the new flavors coincides with the kickoff of Aha’s first 360-degree marketing campaign, “Can I Get an AHA?,” which rolled out across TV, radio, social media and streaming platforms beginning May 10. The campaign taps actors and comedians Lauren Lapkus and Colton Dunn to “evoke a joyful reaction … and play on the brand’s ethos of enlivening everyday moments,” another press release from Coca-Cola communicated.

“As the sparkling water category continues to gain traction, we’re excited to unveil Aha’s first-ever comprehensive marketing campaign featuring a bold and unexpected duo reflective of our brand ethos,” Ulises Ramírez, group director, hydration category, North America Operating Unit, Coca-Cola, said in the aforementioned release. “With a name that’s fun to say and a beverage that’s fun to drink, we’re leaning into humor with the goal of enlivening our fans’ everyday moments. We’re incredibly proud of the brand love we’ve earned in our first year on shelves and are looking forward to reaching an entirely new fanbase with the help of the brilliantly funny and always refreshing Lauren Lapkus and Colton Dunn.”

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