Social & Influencers

How Olipop helped popularize the ‘sleepy girl mocktail’

After seeing the trend take off, the brand used organic creator partnerships and product placement to help it spread.
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Screenshots via @gracie_norton/TikTok, @drinkolipop/Instagram

· 5 min read

The “sleepy girl mocktail” is having a moment.

A little over a year ago, TikToker @caleeshea posted a recipe for a mocktail meant to encourage a better night’s sleep, consisting of tart cherry juice and the Lemon Ginger flavor of prebiotic soda Olipop. The “sleepy girl mocktail,” as it’s now known, has seen a recent resurgence, with some credit given to another TikToker, Gracie Norton, who went viral for her version of the drink. 

It was Norton’s mocktail, containing tart cherry juice, magnesium powder, and Lemon Lime Olipop, that first drew the brand’s attention, Steven Vigilante, director of growth and partnerships at Olipop, said.

Olipop decided to seize on the organic opportunity and work with Norton, along with other creators, to create new mocktails for its Dry January “Mocktails in Minutes” campaign, which includes personalized recipes from the brand’s virtual sommelier, Olivier. In its first week, more than 20,000 consumers tried out the mocktail sommelier, and the brand’s Classic Grape flavor featured in the recommended recipes became the campaign’s top seller, with sales up 31% from the week before the campaign debuted.

Beyond sales, Vigilante told us the brand’s decision to engage with consumers’ and creators’ enthusiasm for sleepy girl mocktails has resulted in a PR success story for the brand.

“I don’t think it’s possible to truly engineer virality,” Vigilante said. “You gotta let the internet do its thing, but I think we put just enough gas in the fire to help make it global.”

(Social) listen up

To take advantage of the sleepy girl mocktail trend beginning last year, Olipop created a challenge on the UGC platform Kale, Vigilante said. He estimated that the challenge led to more than 600 people posting about the phenomenon, which attracted media attention.

Momentum picked up further, and the #SleepyGirlMocktail tag saw more than 570 million earned media impressions and 50 million TikTok views, he said. The trend’s endurance throughout 2023 inspired Olipop’s decision to market around Dry January for the first time, Vigilante said. In January alone, Olipop counted more than 900 posts about sleepy girl mocktails containing the soda.

“You see literally thousands of people posting an Olipop over ice in a wineglass or in a cocktail glass after work,” he said. “It’s, like, okay, this is clearly a thing people are doing, and we need to lean into it.”

Olipop first started talking to Norton a year and a half ago after seeing her drinking Olipop in a video on her TikTok account, but kept the relationship organic up until this most recent campaign, he said.

Right placement, right time?

In the last year, the power of the sleepy girl mocktail has boosted Olipop sales at certain retail locations, like Sweetgreen.“Almost overnight, we started getting reports that mostly millennial women were coming to the store and buying out all their Lemon Lime Olipops to make the mocktails,” Vigilante said.

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With the brand selling in big-box retailers like Target and Walmart in addition to more health-centric stores like Whole Foods and Sprouts, Vigilante said Olipop is experimenting with working with creators outside of the wellness realm. The brand is also working to expand its social presence beyond TikTok to platforms like YouTube and Facebook.

“Ultimately, we view ourselves going after the diet-soda drinker more than the kombucha drinker,” Vigilante said.

Some of the brand’s top creators as of January included TikTokers @miah_pie, who received a branded Olipop fridge and drove 150 million views for the brand last year, and @yeatp_, a construction worker in Ohio who shares videos of his daily lunches packed by his mom, Vigilante said.


When it comes to identifying more creators to work with, Vigilante said he and his team track who’s posting about the brand (and makes sure to ask agents or managers that reach out about opportunities if their clients have posted about the brand before). On Instagram, the brand is tagged in an average of 1,500 story posts per week, he said.

“I always tell people that the best way to get our attention is to post about [Olipop],” he said.

In Vigilante’s view, finding opportunities to include Olipop in cultural moments through product placement efforts is more important than paid ads. Olipop gifts hundreds of 12-packs every month in the hope that the soda will show up in social posts. Last year, the brand’s integration in Nicki Minaj and Ice Spice’s “Barbie World” music video led to more than 150 million views and a little more than a billion impressions across earned media, YouTube, and social media, Vigilante said.

As Vigilante keeps an eye on new trends that Olipop could be incorporated into, he’s optimistic about the growing popularity of dirty sodas, or sodas “spiked” with additives like cream and flavored syrups.

“I don’t think there’s enough people willing to pour creamer in their soda yet,” he said. “But I’ve done it many times, and I think it’s delicious. I would urge you to try it.”

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