It’s a headline writer’s dream, innocent smoothies for kids being trialled at certain McDonald's restaurants. Can you imagine two more diametrically-opposed brands? Who will win the 'tug-o-war'? Is innocent pulled down or is McDonald's pulled up? Is innocent any less innocent? Is McDonald's any more well-meaning? Or is this useless speculation - maybe it is pure business. Both businesses are arguably taking a risk.
We have blogged about innocent
Passions are running high. In the red corner, other people are saying that health and good products are not the exclusive preserve of the middle class and that getting fruit instead of fizzy drinks into children has to be a good thing.
There is a post from innocent co-founder Rich (as previously bigged up here), reacting to the early posts and clarifying a few things. And now the CEO of McD UK has posted himself. It's a fascinating debate and it seems finely poised. Will innocent pull out? Will the vocal minority hold sway? Will McD sell enough innocent smoothies?
In his excellent book on Brand Innovation, John Grant describes innocent as a hippy brand, like Ben and Jerry’s, based on the idea of quality ingredients, good working conditions, a less materialistic state of mind. He has written about innocent @ McD here.
Ben and Jerry's then sold out to Unilever. Has this spoiled the brand's values, or made a good product even better and available to more people now?
Innocent drinks has not sold TO McDonald's, of course (despite what some have assumed). One of its products is being sold IN a few McDonald's, as a trial. One helluva trial, in many ways, all the more interesting for being played out in Blogoland.
Watch this space.