Do you remember ‘anything’ and ‘whatever’? They made waves in the advertising world when the company, aptly named ‘Out of the Box’ rolled out two drinks called the ‘Anything’ and ‘Whatever’.
When asked about how the idea came about, they said that they got the idea from everyday conversations. Apparently, when they ask their friends about what they would want to drink, their friends usually give non-committal answers, “anything lor” or “whatever lah”.
‘Anything’ is a carbonated drink that comes in different flavours (Cola with lemon, Apple etc) and ‘Whatever’ is a non-carbonated drink (Ice Lemon Tea, Chrysanthemum etc).
Their advertising campaign was equally creative but they had to pull out a marketing project halfway through.
They had placed empty cans of ‘whatever’ and ‘anything’ at the bus stops but due to vandalism (people with itchy fingers stealing cans or opening the cans) and the worry of mosquito breeding (opened cans can collect water, which are prime breeding grounds for mosquitoes), they had to stop this particular project.
However, it remains to be seen if this particular marketing project is a failure since although it was costly.
According to reports, the man behind the idea was not even sure if it was a failure since their first-month sales figures actually outstrip their initial sales goal (they managed a sale of 3.5 million cans of drinks, far surpassing their initial goal of 2 million can of drinks sold).
Below is a video of one of their advertisement:
It was known that the drinks were no longer sold in 2010 and their official website was closed down in 2012.
So what happened to this company who had practically made waves with their branding and strategic positioning?
One speculation was that the novelty of the idea wore off and the company could no longer sustain the sales of the drink.
Another speculation made was that the drinks were watered down version of the original flavours (E.g. Cola with lemon not as good as the real lemon flavoured coca cola drink) and thus after the originality of the idea dies down, everyone prefers the original version.
Which kind of makes sense: in this goldfish-memory world when novelty can only bring you fame for a short period of time, it’s just a matter of time before people decide to just go for their favourite drinks instead.
One last interesting speculation came from our FaceBook page back when a photo of these drinks was posted. According to the commenter, the drinks were not a fail. He said that young start-up was threatening to take the market share of a beverage giant and thus, the owners were offered a generous amount of money to close down their operations.
To be honest, we’re not surprised, given that doing business in Singapore is so competitive.
So which is true, which is false? What do you think?