PNG images: Sprite
Sprite is a colourless, caffeine-free, lemon and lime-flavoured soft drink created by The Coca-Cola Company. It was first developed in West Germany in 1959 as Fanta Klare Zitrone (“Clear Lemon Fanta”) and was introduced in the United States under the current brand name Sprite in 1961 as a competitor to 7 Up. Bottles of Sprite are usually a transparent green colour with a green and yellow label whereas cans are coloured silver, green, blue and aluminium bottles are coloured a solid lime green. Though often confused with Lemonade, Sprite stands in separate class of carbonated soft drink.
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Sprite advertising often makes use of the portmanteau word lymon, a combination of the words "lemon" and "lime".
By the 1980s, Sprite had developed a large following among teenagers. In response, Sprite began to cater to this demographic in their advertisements in 1987. "I Like the Sprite In You" was the brand's first long-running slogan, and many jingles were produced around it before its discontinuation in 1994.
In 1994, Sprite updated their logo. This newer, more outgoing logo stood out more on packaging, and featured a blue-to-green gradient with silver "splashes" and subtle white "bubbles" in the background. The word "Sprite" had a blue backdrop shadow on the logo, and the words "Great Lymon Taste!" present on the previous logo were removed. This logo was used in the United States until 2006, and similar variants were used in other countries until this year as well.
Also in 1994, the brand's slogan was changed to "Obey Your Thirst" and jingles including it became urban-oriented, featuring a hip-hop theme song. One of the first lyrics for the new slogan were, "Never forget yourself 'cause first things first, grab a cold, cold can, and obey your thirst.” Under the new slogan, Sprite tapped into hip-hop culture by leveraging emerging and underground rap artists like LL Cool J, A Tribe Called Quest, KRS-One, Missy Elliott, Grand Puba, Common, Fat Joe, Nas, Chris Conn, Pete Ross and others in television commercials. Sprite expanded its urban connections in the late 1990s by featuring both amateur and accomplished basketball players in their advertisements. To this day, NBA players and hip-hop artists such as Lebron James and Lil Yachty frequently appear in Sprite adverts.
In 1998, one commercial poked fun at products with cartoon mascots, in which a mascot for a fictitious drink called "Sun Fizz" comes to life, terrifying the kids and mother, and starts to chase them. This commercial is also notorious for ending on a Cliffhanger that remains unresolved to this day.
In the 1990s, one of Sprite's longest-running ad campaigns was "Grant Hill Drinks Sprite" (overlapping its "Obey Your Thirst" campaign), in which the well-liked basketball player's abilities, and Sprite's importance in giving him his abilities, were humorously exaggerated.
In 2000, Sprite commissioned graffiti artist Temper to design limited edition art, which appeared on 100 million cans across Europe.
In 2004, Coke created Miles Thirst, a vinyl doll voiced by Reno Wilson, used in advertising to exploit the hip-hop market for soft drinks.
In 2006, a new Sprite logo, consisting of two yellow and green "halves" forming an "S" lemon/lime design, made its debut on Sprite bottles and cans. The slogan was changed from its long running "Obey Your Thirst" to just "Obey" in the United States and was outright replaced with "Freedom From Thirst" in many countries. This was the decade's first major shift in advertising themes.
The "Sublymonal" campaign was also used as part of the alternate reality game the Lost Experience. This also resurrected the "lymon" word.
Sprite redesigned their label in 2009, removing the "S" logo.
In France in 2012, the drink was reformulated removing 30% of the sugar and replacing it with the sweetener Stevia. This led to the drink containing fewer calories. This soon spread to Ireland, the UK and the Netherlands in 2013.