Thursday, October 7, 2010

Will an emotional approach work for Truvia?


What’s Truvia, you ask. It’s a zero calorie sweetener that was introduced by Cargill in 2008, as an alternative to aspartame and other artificial sweeteners.

The introductory ads were designed to be educational and informative, and convey that message. But now Cargill has decided to use an emotional approach to connect with women. While the ads are not yet available on YouTube, apparently the approach is to tell women longing for chocolate that now they can have Truvia – a healthier indulgence -- instead.

Given that 68% of people have never heard of Truvia, do you think this is a good move?

Wong, E. (2010, October 4,). Cargill gets to the Heart of Stevia. Retrieved October 6, 2010, from


  1. Yes Definitely!Everyone is trying to figure out a way to eat bad but feel good about it, so using that insight is a great idea. I think this will be simpler and more effective than explaining the information. When I was selling a drink that artificial sweetener, it was easier to try to tell the women that they do not have to fill guilty and it is full of vitamins than actually explain what the artificial sweetener is. If I use artificial sweetener (yuck!) I would definitely consider truvia if they targeted my love of chocolate.

  2. The emotional play (I can eat the things I shouldn't and not blow up like a pig) seems like a good insight -- although the proof will be found in the pudding; we all know how delicious (not) products made with artificial sweeteners are. If Truvia doesn't actually taste good, I don't imagine this strategy would lead to a huge share of the market. Of course, they can also play up the "natural" aspect since it's made with Stevia, and consumers are hot to jump on the green/natural bandwagon these days.

  3. I consider that the fact of no sugar is not special recently.Therefore,to use an emotional approach is necessary.However, Unique Selling Point is also important at the same time. We need to do advertising while thinking good balance between the fact and the emotion to show new lifestyle along with consumer insights.

  4. I haven't heard of Truvia before. I know the artificially sweetener market is pretty crowded, and it's generally pretty icky stuff with funny after tastes, so appealing to customers through an emotional approach I think would be more effective than simply giving people the facts -- especially if it tastes better than aspartame.

    I did a little reading and apparently Truvia is being used in Sprite Green (Coca Cola Corp was one of the founders of Truvia, which is derived from the stevia plant). I'm interested in trying it. I'm from the south where we're practically bottle fed Mt. Dew so I've got a bit of a weak spot for the occasional soda. Now that I'm a weight conscious New Yorker I've got to try to get my occasional soda fix without all the calories. If Truvia tastes better than aspartame, and if the advertising spoke to that difference, it would definitely make me want to try it.

  5. Bizarre. Would you buy in to an ad for Equal that said "If you want chocolate, you can have Equal instead!"? Equal/Splenda/Truvia aren't chocolate. They're substitute sweeteners. You wouldn't just eat a packet on its own.

    Wouldn't it make more sense to say "Don't deny yourself the sweetness of coffee - use Truvia instead of sugar!" or some such?

  6. Karen,

    Originally I had the same reaction you did, but I think the idea is that you can have chocolate made with Truvia instead of with least I hope that's the idea, otherwise you're 100% right.

  7. I cringe at anything that contain artificial sweeteners. I have never heard of Truvia before and after some quick research, I realized that although they market it as a natural sweetener, it really is not. Yes, it is derived from the Stevia plant, but the process is not a as simple as seeping leaves in water. After extraction, the compound is chemically modified to rebiana and is then purified 97% according to FDA standards. To simply put it, more chemicals are added to make what you want and take out what you don't want. That doesn't sound too natural to me. Moreover, the main ingredient in Truvia is erythritol, which is a sugar-alcohol known to give you digestive problems and headaches when consumed too much. Maybe it is a good choice to stop educating and press through the emotional route as it sure makes me happy to think that it is good for you instead of the adverse affects. Anyway, I will stick to my glucose.

    Ji-Ying Zhao

  8. As I began writing this, a Truvia commercial came on during The Biggest Loser. Now I'm a bit curious to see what it is and what it tastes like. Ok, now I'm over it. It tastes like all the others, not sugar, but a chemically sour aftertaste flavor. So by trying to pull on the inner thoughts of people so they will take the plunge and try the product, I think is a good idea in the way "I can't believe it's not butter" did. The emotional ads will drive their targets to try the product. From there, "the proof is in the pudding" and for Truvia's sake they hope it tastes as such.

  9. yeah, i think it's too early for them to do that. i've never heard of truvia, or the plant that it comes from, and if the commercial mentions truvia like we should all know what it is, i'd think it was something like a diet pill from the context of the ad.
    i feel like with something like sweetener, i'd rather know the facts than emotionally connect to it, which tells me nothing about what i'm eating.