Fruitopia was a pet project of Coke’s former marketing chief, Sergio Zyman. It was a fruit-flavoured drink introduced by the Coca-Cola Company in 1994 and targeted at teens and young adults. It was invented as part of a push by Coca-Cola to capitalize on the success of Snapple and other flavored tea drinks. The company spent an initial marketing budget of $30 million, allowing Fruitopia to quickly gain hype in the mid-1990s. TIME magazine named Fruitopia one of the Top 10 New Products of 1994.
The brand’s flagship flavor would be Strawberry Passion Awareness. This flavor was available at drink fountains as well at McDonald’s as Coca-Cola pushed this drink to market in many places. Fruitopia vending machines have also appeared in schools and college campuses in addition to or as a replacement to soda. Other flavors included The Grape Beyond, Tangerine Wavelength, Citrus Consciousness, Fruit Integration, Pink Lemonade Euphoria, Lemonade Love & Hope, and Raspberry Psychic Lemonade. These flavors were available in the United States while a much wider array was available in the UK. On March 23, 1995, a Fruitopia fruit tea line featuring Born Raspberry, Peaceable Peach, Lemon Berry Intuition, and Curious Mango was introduced in 16-ounce glass bottles. In a drive to remake the brand and remarket it as more relevant to Generation X, however, Coca-Cola dropped several Fruitopia flavors in 1996, added others (such as Beachside Blast and Banana Vanilla Inclination), and renamed others (Citrus Consciousness becoming Citrus Excursion).
Fruitopia had rather unusual commercials despite the simplicity of the product behind them. They featured animation using imagery of fruit arrayed in colorful, spinning kaleidoscope patterns. This was accompanied by idealistic aphorisms reminiscent of hippie poetry of the 1960s. Background music on several of the ads was provided by The Muffs, Kate Bush, and the Cocteau Twins. Its recurring slogan was “Fruitopia: for the mind, body, and planet.”
By the end of the 1990s, Fruitopia had struggled to maintain a profitable profile. In 2003, the Fruitopia line was all but discontinued in the United States, with some flavors being revamped under the Minute Maid moniker; Minute Maid, the world’s largest juice brand, was largely responsible for the lagging sales of Fruitopia. The Strawberry Passion Awareness drink is still available in the United States (branded as Minute Maid) in McDonald’s fountain machines nationwide.
Kate Bush Music for Fruitopia
When Kate Bush took the assignment to do the music for Coca-Cola’s Fruitopia ads, it was indeed free rein for her. Chiat/Day, New York, creative director Marty Cooke and executive producer Andrew Chinich were overjoyed when Bush agreed to do not only one, but all nine of the spots in the Fruitopia campaign. Perhaps the fact that they told her she could do anything she wanted with the scores had something to do with it. In any case, Cooke and Chinich were just glad to get Bush on the job, which she did from London with a bunch of hand-picked musicians. “She said she was interested in providing a lot of variety, from Japanese drummers to Moroccan music… and she came through in spades,” Cooke says.
11 different ads
The following ads with Kate’s music have been identified:
- Fighting Fruit (30 seconds) – Fruit Integration flavour
- Nice (30 seconds) – Pink Lemonade Euphoria flavour
- Passion (30 seconds) – Strawberry Passion Awareness flavour
- Raspberry (30 seconds) – Raspberry Psychic Lemonade flavour
- Message of Love (30 seconds) – Lemonade Love and Hope flavour
- Soul (30 seconds) – Citrus Consciousness flavour
- Where Were You? (30 seconds) – Cranberry Lemonade Vision flavour
- Teaser (30 seconds) – general ad
- Summer Solstice (30 seconds) – general ad
- Some People (30 seconds) – Iced Tea/Inner Light
- What If? (60 seconds) – general ad