News / Calgary

Alberta NDP's 'orange crush' slogan could lead to surge in soda sales: Prof

She: bubbly, not afraid to bite — especially during debates. It: the same fizzy appeal and kick.

She: popular with the kids. It: commonly guzzled at pizza parties.

Her favourite colour is likely orange. It literally is orange.

Rachel Notley, Orange Crush. The perfect pairing.

The soda's slogan has become A common phrase for those describing Notley and the Alberta NDP's stunning election victory, one that overturned a Tory dynasty spanning more than four decades.

A quick search of "orange crush NDP" in Google News returned more than 70,000 hits Thursday.

Supporters of the party's surge have been known to cart cans of Crush to rallies and, as the election results rolled Tuesday, some could be seen at its Calgary headquarters posting photos of the product to social media.

Officially, the company behind Crush, Canada Dry Mott's, said while it supports people consuming its product, it has no political affiliation.

But Mohammed El Hazzouri, an assistant professor of marketing at Mount Royal University, said there really is the potential for some NDP faithful to develop a craving for Orange Crush. Some may not even consciously make the connection, he said.

"There might be an association between the fact that she (Notley) is cool, she's hip, she's promoting change," El Hazzouri said.

There's precedent for such product association, he said, noting that Mars chocolate bars saw a surprising uptick in sales during a high-profile Nasa mission to the Red Planet.

Still, El Hazzouri cautioned that marketing is a tricky game and just four in 10 Albertans actually marked an X next to their riding's NDP candidate on election day.

"'I'm never going to drink Orange Crush again,' — some people would say that," he said.

Product placement and political parties is not solely an NDP creation either, it seems. Calgary's Wild Rose Brewery began producing sudsy beverages six years before the right-wing party with the same name formed, yet marketing manager Blair Bullied said they routinely get asked about a potential political affiliation.

"Especially people that aren't from Alberta but know about the political party, they associate it with us," she said, adding some visitors even suggest the brewery grow the same poppy used in the party's logo in its exterior garden.

For the record, the brewery supports both the Wildrose and NDP, Bullied said.

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