In August 2009, Trident introduced a new gum experience with the launch of Trident Layers. Six months later in February 2010, AMP Energy introduced an alternative to the morning cup of coffee, Amp Gum. Despite sharing a product category, the two gum brands differed in both their creations and marketing strategies. The new Trident Layers consists of three layers that form a gum sandwich. According to the Executive Vice President of Cadbury America, Lesya Lysyi, the new Trident Layers “…breaks the mold of current category paradigms of form and flavor.” On the other end of the spectrum, AMP Energy introduced AMP Energy Gum; a citrus “on-the-go” gum that packs the energy equivalent of an 8-ounce energy drink into just two small pieces.
Amp and Trident implemented two different marketing strategies. Trident Layers spent their $10MM budget with JWT New York, and launched a humorous campaign in traditional media, including a TV ad where the babysitter agrees to be compensated with Trident Layers Gum. Trident Layers also accompanied the New York Yankees in their winning parade, layering fans’ faces with paint mimicking the new layers. Finally, Trident leveraged social media by taking an ad in USA Today that displayed their positive reviews from consumers on Twitter.
Amp Energy Gum, on the other hand, maintained its marketing focus on high energy sports. Amp sponsored both snowboarding and NASCAR events and endorsed Dale Earnhardt, NASCAR driver. The Amp Web site is filled with behind the scenes video footage showing both consumers and athletes racing cars, snowboarding and having a good time. They also created several online communities like AmpUpthe88.com and AmpEnergyNation.com, where bands, students and sports fans interact. Amp’s advertising included radio, digital and gas station ads, as well as extensive grassroots and event sampling.
With timelines and marketing campaigns so divergent, it’s questionable whether Trident and AMP are even competing for the same consumers. While one is investing in broad marketing to a wide consumer base, the other is aligning with NASCAR fans and snowboarding enthusiasts. It’s certain that in today’s micro-niche-marketing environment, both can sustain sales with different customer segments, but it will be interesting to see if the novel idea of an ‘energy’ gum garners attention from a broader group than originally targeted (so far we’ve only seen Jolt gum and some lesser known brands marketing a product like this). A caffeine/energy boost at a moment’s notice certainly is an attractive sell. One thing goes without saying: if Amp succeeds beyond expectations, copycats are sure to follow.