So What is Zeo? By Matt Lloyd-Davies

This is the same question I asked myself when I tentatively received my first, real brief from a client. Not only was I effectively flying solo, I now had a product I had never heard of!

This is the same question I asked myself when I tentatively received my first, real brief from a client. Not only was I effectively flying solo, I now had a product I had never heard of!

The brief was simple. Great looking sophisticated girls, to promote this new, revolutionary, non-alcoholic drink… but there was more, the client had a passion, and a genuine passion at that. He truly believed in ZEO and everything it stood for.

This had me hooked. I wanted, needed, to know more.

Intrigue, mystery, curiosity… From the iconic face of the brand to the website videos, it was obvious ZEO was different, but why was it different? How was it different? However, before I could even come close to answering any of these, the first activation was upon us… 2 great girls profiled and booked, and the ZEO experience went live. The impact was immediate, effective and clinically successful. The use of the biggest orange wigs you’ve ever seen, stunning make-up, beautiful girls and high-end London night venues mixed with deliberate mystery and intrigue couldn’t help but draw consumer engagement.

The ZEO girls loved the product and the activations… they talked about it constantly, pushed me for new dates, fought over shifts, and still, I had no idea why. I hadn’t yet been fortunate enough to try it. This had to change; a new briefing session was on the horizon, diary cleared… I was going.

We all know the competitors, Coke, Lemonade, Red Bull, but how would ZEO compare? The first, ice-cold drop hit my lips. We were instructed to swill it, feel it, smell it, much like a seasoned sommelier. My taste buds were alive. What was it? How was it possibly causing such an amazingly unexpected explosion of flavour? Cool, sharp, sweet, warming, and fresh… The sensations just kept on coming, developing, enhancing. The feeling in the room was one of astonishment, without words, we all knew we had just experienced something incredibly unique. The ZEO mixologist broke the silence… “What could you taste?”

Our answers were all different. How was this possible? We had all drank the same drink, from the same sealed bottles. You could see the client’s pleasure. We had experienced ZEO.

It didn’t stop here; twists of fruit zests were next to be added. Something had changed; the entirely complex flavour structure we had just experienced seemed to have been torn apart at a molecular level and re-formed itself in a distinctly different manner. It was amazing, how could the reaction of fruit oils change ZEO’s taste completely? Another fruit zest was added, different this time, and the flavour changed again. It was even more complex than the previous two occasions.  This happened a further 3 times. It was astonishing. Further tasting ensued, cocktails were mixed and the Z&G (ZEO and Gin) was unleashed. A British classic was, in a single instance, flipped upside down, shaken around, re-invented and improved. The cocktails were incredible, classic flavour combinations were reborn and revitalised… forget flavours you thought you knew, ZEO alters the paradigm.

The recipe is secret, guarded under lock and key with only very few people knowing it’s true content. We know it’s a delicate balance of herbs and spices, and unfortunately this is where our understanding inevitably stops… We will never learn the answers to the how’s and the whys; instead we should savour its flavour, embrace its bravery and ingenuity, and applaud it for standing head and shoulders above its nearest competitor.

ZEO is mysterious, intriguing, complex and sophisticated… It’s wonderfully unusual.

You’ve heard mine, now seek your ZEO experience…

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Phil Edelston