‘Worry Monsters’: 5 Questions With Pom Wonderful CMO Adam Cooper


Pom Wonderful

Pom Wonderful today released a new integrated marketing campaign that is the first for the brand in the past few years. It underscores the growing focus for the pomegranate juice pioneer on getting existing fans to drink more of its antioxidant-packed products.

“The Worry Monsters” is a multimillion-dollar, multi-year platform in which Pom-created characters complain bitterly that their once-unhealthy and fretful human “victims” have started making healthier choices such as working out and drinking “crazy healthy” Pom Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice.

“A health scare can come with stress and constant worrying that begins to feel like you have a companion following you at all times, like your very own worry monster,” said Adam Cooper, vice president of marketing for The Wonderful Co., parent of Pom Wonderful, Wonderful Pistachios and Halos mandarin oranges, in a press release.

“Consumers are increasingly looking for healthier options, and incorporating the Antioxidant Superpower Pom Wonderful into your daily routine is a powerful step toward making healthier choices and getting rid of your Worry Monster.”

Pom’s ads highlight individuals who are turning to Pom and vanquishing the Worry Monsters, such as a woman who just turned 50 but can still twist herself into any yoga pose, and the runner who had a health scare but now jogs and drinks Pom Wonderful.

It’s reminiscent of the brand’s long-running campaign that featured “monsters” on the good side: personifications of the antioxidants in Pom Wonderful that vanquished health concerns.

“This campaign, like the old one, delivers on the idea that anyone can have a health awakening, but at the same time we’re trying to connect with people who have certain life experiences,” Cooper told brandchannel.

The campaign includes other elements such as an ad on Pom’s digital billboard in New York’s Times Square in which the Worry Monsters point out to tourists and locals all the amusingly terrifying things they should be worried about as they wander around the iconic intersection. And there’s a one-minute pre-roll video on YouTube in which a Worry Monster appears to interact in real time with the viewer by breaking the fourth wall in order to point out all the things they should be worrying about at that very moment.

The thing is, Pom Wonderful was on a roll even before the new campaign, with sales in US outlets up by nearly 10% over the past 52 weeks, to $137 million, according to SymponyIRI, which provides sales results for supermarkets, supercenters, discount stores, drugstores and convenience stores.

That’s despite Pom Wonderful’s being a leader in a category that has matured, at a time when consumers have less interest in many other fruit juices because of their sugar content, and while there’s new competition springing up every day for the “functional beverage” drinker who’s Pom’s target.

Cooper discussed what it’s like to market Pom Wonderful.

You’ve managed to keep Pom Wonderful’s sales momentum going against so many headwinds.

Pom Wonderful CMO Adam Cooper

We’ve seen great success in the most recent year with sales up by high-single-digit percentages and, in the two years before that, up by double digits. We’re coming off three to four straight years of great growth and while the mainstream juice category is down—and even super-premium juice has been slowing in terms of growth—we’ve had success.

How have you managed to do that?

We have a product that people really believe in, that Pom Wonderful with antioxidants will make them feel good and even healthy. We did our research and found the biggest fans using Pom Wonderful, and we changed our media strategy and started targeting those people. About 6% of the US is buying Pom, and that’s up from 3% just five years ago. But we’ve seen even more growth from people who already were buying Pom Wonderful.

How have you infiltrated existing customers even more?

People drink Pom Wonderful after workouts, at the end of the evening winding down, for an afternoon jolt of energy, in smoothies—they find many ways to integrate it into daily life.

How does this new campaign help?

Our research also uncovered that a lot of people found Pom Wonderful through some kind of health awakening—an illness in themselves or a relative—or maybe they’d gotten beat in a race for the first time. This new campaign resonates at a time when people in the US are struggling to be healthy, and with awareness of Pom Wonderful is an easy way to add some health to your lifestyle.

You also believe that keeping your focus on a relatively simple product line is important, right?

Yes, our core growth is around just one product: 100% pomegranate juice. We have a couple of other varieties, that include blueberry or cherry, which also are known for antioxidants. But we don’t have a huge lineup. Others in our category are throwing a lot of things against the wall, all these different flavors. In some cases they’re trying for too big an identity. What we’re doing is very focused.

Get more insights in our Q&A series.