Sex Education star Gillian Anderson wants her G Spot brand to take on the wellness industry
The actor's brand has teamed up with Netflix to release the Arouse drink to titillate new customers to her fledgling brand.
Gillian Anderson fledgling G Spot drinks range
Actor Gillian Anderson has joined the burgeoning functional drinks market launching the G Spot range, singing up Netflix as its first brand collaboration.
Anderson, who plays Jean the sex therapist mum in Sex Education, launched her libido-enhancing drink range G Spot in May to inject more pleasure into the wellness category. G Spot’s chief executive Rebekah Hall told The Drum that the brand plans to be more than just a drink.
“We would describe ourselves as a wellness brand, but not in the traditional sense. Gillian very rarely does things in the traditional sense,” she says. “To take it back to its roots, G Spot is very much about the power of pleasure and the pursuit of pleasure."
The first four drinks (Lift, Protect, Soothe, and Arouse) are available to buy on the G Spot e-commerce site for £16.50 for a pack of six and online and in-store at Harvey Nicholas but there are plans to “significantly” increase distribution over the next quarter, Hall reveals.
Anderson hired Hall to oversee the business, but unlike a lot of celebrity-backed brands, Anderson is actively involved in running the company. From setting the aesthetic and driving the brand decisions, she's a core part of the daily running. “She is not just an ambassador or marketing tool but actively involved in what the brand is and how it’s expressed in every marketing channel,” Hall adds.
She acknowledges though, that Anderson is a huge asset when it comes to marketing the product. “[Anderson] comes with a brand of her own and a developed audience, which is a key part of what we leverage in the brand.”
Capitalizing on Anderson’s links with Netflix, the two companies have released a special edition Sex Education drink called Arouse. The drink’s drop coincided with the launch of Sex Education series four and can be brought online or through the Netflix shop in the US. As well as on-pack Netflix branding, there is co-marketing and a content series. On the partnership, Hall says: “There’s a really nice strong alignment there, in terms of vowed brand values, and positioning and ethos – a natural collaboration.”
The product was launched entirely through digital marketing and that is where G Spot will spend most of its media dollars in the next 12 months, supported by some in-person pop-up style activations.
Challenging a ‘counterproductive’ wellness industry
With a background running wellness brands including OTO Wellbeing and FEW, Hall says the industry is “counterproductive” to what it sets out to achieve.
“It’s [wellness industry] intended to be in its truest form to make people feel well, but it is often so anxiety-producing and provoking and can do the opposite with some of the things that it encourages people to do,” Hall says.
When people think wellness, they often think of Gwyneth Paltrow eating bone broth. “That image of perfection that has been portrayed and perpetrated by the wellness industry is so often false and so unachievable for so many people," Hall says. G Spot, she says, is about making choices around food and drink that are pleasurable.
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Along with the taste, this rejection of the traditional wellness industry informed the brand’s house style and color palette with a Barbie-esque pink, sage greens and bright oranges. “It’s intentionally bolder than you would see in a drinks category,” Hall says. “There is a trend in drinks wellness towards the slightly kind of ethereal colors, like muted tones, dreamlike states, and but G Spot sits slightly aside from that it has a very bold identity.”
The US functional drinks category is big business, worth an estimated $40bn in 2022, but for the UK the sector is only just beginning to pick up steam. Hall says drinks are the easiest place for Brits to try new health ingredients as they are low cost and consumed every day – it is “less intimidating” than a supplement or a regime, she says.
“There is an inflection point in the UK,” she says. “The retailers are realizing that the old stale soft drinks category, which has been dominated for so long by a few brands, is in a step change and people want more.”