Marketers have long used “limited time offer” as a tactic to create scarcity and build a sense of urgency to take action. I fondly remember seeing TV commercials as a youngster that used the call to action of “order before midnight tonight” to get the cassette or 8-track (it has been a while since I was a kid) at the low, low price. At the time, it baffled me why that particular call was used, especially since it was used every time I saw the commercial! In hindsight, I get the attempt to create urgency to order before the deal is no longer available.
Baja Blast in a Bottle: Don’t Get Used To It
Memories of those TV commercials from my youth were triggered when reading about Mtn Dew’s plans for the introduction of its wildly popular Baja Blast product. Yes, Mtn Dew Baja Blast is both wildly popular and new. The popularity of the Baja Blast product has been cultivated at Taco Bell restaurants, where the flavor has been sold exclusively until now. In fact, Mtn Dew Baja Blast is number two in sales for Taco Bell, trailing only Pepsi. This month, Pepsi introduced Baja Blast in bottles and cans… but only while supplies last. Expectations are that the popularity of the product will lead to selling through of the inventory by the end of summer. So if you are a Baja Blast lover you should do two things: 1) stock up on your beverage and 2) don’t get used to having it in cans and bottles because when it is gone, it is gone.
That’s not Nice
Before we accuse Pepsi of teasing customers or suggesting it is not playing nice by dangling Baja Blast in front of consumers for only a brief period, there is a strategy behind the product’s timing. Two statistics make a compelling argument for the Baja Blast summer promotion:
- 75% of Baja Blast fans say its availability is the number one reason they visit Taco Bell
- Only 40% of Mtn Dew consumers are aware of the Baja Blast flavor
These stats taken together suggest a huge opportunity exists for Pepsi and even greater one for Taco Bell if more exposure is created for Baja Blast among the 60% of Mtn Dew customers that do not know about it. Building awareness and interest in Baja Blast through retail channels during the limited time offer could transfer to Taco Bell visits later in order to meet demand for the flavor. So, instead of calling out Pepsi as a tease for stirring excitement for Mtn Dew Baja Blast only to take it away, a tip of the hat may be in order for the creative means used to build interest for the brand as well as for its partner, Taco Bell.
A Limited Time Offer Like No Other
A final distinction between the introduction of Mtn Dew Baja Blast in bottles and cans compared to the typical limited time offer is the marketing resources being committed to it. A typical limited time offer for CPGs often relies mainly on point-of-purchase materials and in-store promotions. Mtn Dew produced a video featuring product endorsers Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Danny Davis, and Paul Rodriguez. Such efforts are usually reserved for product launches that are needed to survive long term. Not only is long term success not needed for the Baja Blast retail introduction, it is not even desired. This situation is different- Pepsi protected the exclusivity of Baja Blast for Taco Bell while at the same time potentially boosting excitement for the Mtn Dew brand… even if only for the summer.