Is innocent suffering from multiple personality disorder?

The new ad for innocent's orange juice stopped me in my tracks when watching the TV last night. But for the wrong reasons.

Gone was innocent's emotional "sizzle": the irreverent, quirky and entertaining tone of voice. Instead, there were shots of sunny orange orchards. Lots of fruit. And a serious, deep toned, grown-up voice telling us earnestly that "the fewer the steps between the orange juice in your glass and the oranges on the tree, the better the taste" and that "innocent is not made from concentrate".

Seems familiar, right? That's because it looks and sounds like an ad for Tropicana.

Click below in the blog to watch the ad:

I posted a year ago on my doubts about innocent being able to compete versus Tropicana in basic juice with a me-too product. At least they had some emotional sizzle to be distinctive, I thought. Despite this, I think innocent have struggled to make inroads into Tropican's share. Now the sizzle has gone too I can't see them doing any better.

The problem here is that the innocent juice advert fails to build on the distinctive "memory structure" they have built up through a decade of consistent marketing. This means the ad is less likely to stand out and be recalled, as it now looks like every other juice ad. The one thing they do have is a nice new plastic carafe, which looks like it has been borrowed from fellow Coca-Cola juice brand Minute Maid, which also struggled in the UK market.

Screen shot 2011-03-01 at 10.00.58
To make things even more confusing, there is a whole different style and tone of innocent communication being used for the core smoothies, here. Again, the trademark innocent style and tone has been ditched and replaced with a portrayal of innocent smoothies as super heros to save you from snack cravings.

At the same time as all this, the website and newsletter still have the animated, quirky and "innocent" visual style and tone.

Screen shot 2011-03-01 at 09.56.12

For so long innocent was a great example of consistent marketing, both across channels and across time. This allowed it to get more bang for a limited budget. Now we have seem to have a brand suffering from multiple personality disorder.

What the hell is going on?