Clover's new blue milk bottles.
  • Clover is sticking to its blue bottles for now, after its new marketing campaign got off to a rocky start.  
  • One of its ads triggered red-hot abuse online.
  • The company says it's too early to say what the impact on sales is.
  • For more articles, www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

Even amid a largely negative response, Clover is sticking to its blue bottles, for now, it seems.

The company switched to blue bottles for its fresh milk a few weeks ago, and judging from the social media response, consumers weren’t overly excited about it.

“With this significant change of appearance in an every day kitchen staple, we anticipated that it would take time for most to adjust and get used to seeing a different colour milk bottle in their fridge. So we expected to start off with mixed reactions from the general public,” Jani Menikou, Clover's senior brand manager told Business Insider.

She said was too early to say what the impact on sales is, “but so far so good”.

“This is also an opportunity for us to distinguish our product from the competition at point of sales because Clover milk is not the same as any other milk.”

But while the reaction to the blue bottles may have been lukewarm, the company’s social media campaign - featuring a weird-looking blue man (Afrikaans actor and singer André Schwartz), talking in a high-pitch voice about different theories about why the bottles are blue – triggered a torrent of red-hot abuse on social media.

Clover’s marketing team has been on damage control ever since, posting funny comments to some of the critiques:

Menikou told Business Insider that the company never imagined it would achieve this level of exposure with the campaign. She said it was “a spoof video” which did something that is completely unexpected for the Clover brand.

"Considering the variety of responses as well as the increased interest in what the brand is doing, we achieved our overall immediate objective – which was to bring awareness to fresh milk, to get people talking about milk, as well as to highlight that Clover fresh milk is not like the other fresh milks in the market."

"At this moment in time, we are not planning on moving away from the blue bottles," she said.

Menikou denied speculation that the change to blue bottles was due to production issues, and plastic shortages during lockdown. "No, this was not the case at all, it was a planned packaging change."

The article has been updated with a statement from Clover.

Receive a daily update on your cellphone with all our latest news: click here.

Get the best of our site emailed to you daily: click here.

Also from Business Insider South Africa: