Re-branding the soda of North Carolina into a “Legend”

Cheerwine, the novelty soda of North Carolina, was created in 1917 in Salisbury, NC by L.D. Peeler. A soda called the “Nectar of North Carolina” flourishes in the state, but Cheerwine has more recently branded itself to grow to a larger demographic–setting itself aside from other popular drinks.

While the renowned soda is unique to its NC roots, the company released Diet Cheerwine in the ’60s in an attempt to target more health-conscious consumers; however, the company was still mostly Southern-dominated. In more recent years, Cheerwine has used a new advertising campaign to break out of NC into a national product through a refreshed branding of the company, calling the beverage a “Legend.”

The New York Times reported  that Cheerwine’s company Carolina Beverage Corporation hired a New York-based advertising agency, Woods Witt Dealy & Sons, around 2011 to promote the brand as a “legend.”

“The campaign has two goals: stimulate interest in Cheerwine among those who have not tried it while at the same time forging stronger ties with fans,” NYT says.

With a new website, featuring graphics and a tab entitled “Find Cheerwine,” consumers can search via zip codes to find a local place to purchase the hard-to-find drink. By portraying the brand as authentic, unique, and staying true to its original “nectar” image, the drink has created a high demand for itself. Cheerwine says that they gained attention from their new marketing strategy, receiving letters from consumers and an increase in popularity outside of North Carolina. Since 2011, the brand continues to expand to other states, most recently Virgina, Maryland and Delaware in 2014.

Through social media presence, promotions, and revamped advertising, Cheerwine’s collaboration with a creative advertising firm attempted to break out of the Southern demographic while staying true to its old-school roots. What do you think about their re-branding in 2011?

-Kaitlyn Russell