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From the 10th Annual Shorty Awards

National Geographic + Stella + MediaCom: World Water Month

Winner in Integrated Campaign


Water is a fundamental human need, yet 663 million people around the world today live without access to safe water. This problem disproportionately affects women and children, who spend millions of hours a day collecting water rather than working, caring for family, or attending school.

Stella Artois and National Geographic collaborated to extend the impact of their "Buy A Lady A Drink" campaign where, for every Limited-Edition Chalice sold, Stella Artois helps provide five years of clean water for one person in the developing world.

The goal of the program was to extend the impact of World Water Day (March 22, 2017), and for that reason National Geographic declared March World Water Month to spark global awareness, advocacy and conversation about global water shortages.

Strategy and Execution

Stella Artois and National Geographic designed a social-first 360 campaign that educated, inspired, and empowered consumers to take action. Here's how they did it:

Seized the Moment

National Geographic and Stella Artois centered the campaign around World Water Month, seizing the opportunity to contribute to a global conversation at a time when people were already paying attention.

On World Water Day, March 22, 2017, Stella Artois and National Geographic drove global awareness with a full takeover of the publisher's social channels. This included 30 photos across five of National Geographic's Instagram channels, 10 posts across four of National Geographic's Facebook channels, and a Snapchat takeover.

Also on World Water Day, Stella Artois and National Geographic announced "Our Dream of Water," a documentary by Crystal Moselle, highlighting the effects of the global water crisis and illuminating the lives of women across Haiti, Peru and Kenya and their daily struggle to find clean, safe water. The hour-long documentary premiered on National Geographic Channel.

Captivated Audiences with Native Social Storytelling

In an effort to meet consumers where they are, National Geographic tailored their storytelling to each platform and channel. National Geographic produced two Instagram stories on their hero account, which used photography to introduce fans to the issue, contextualize with facts and statistics, and issue a call to action - all without leaving Instagram. On Snapchat, National Geographic created three water-themed editions, aligning the campaign with editorial content. On Facebook and Twitter, National Geographic took a traditional approach - sharing quizzes, fact-filled videos and editorial content with carefully crafted posts, drawing audiences deeper into stories on

Connected to the Cause

Throughout communications, the call to action of "Buy a Lady a Drink" was integrated. This provided consumers an opportunity to create tangible impact with their purchase. For every Limited-Edition Chalice sold, Stella Artois helps provide five years of clean water for one person in the developing world.

Created Socially Shareable Mini-Docs to Extend the Impact of Long Form

National Geographic extended the reach and impact of the long-form documentary, by creating three mini-documentaries for digital distribution in the organization's Short Film Showcase and global social channels. The three mini-documentaries were: 1) "Amid a Water Crisis, These Women Are Banding Together in Kenya" 2) "Denied Access to Clean Water, Women Fight for Change in Peru" 3) "Haiti's Water Crisis: One Woman Shares Her Story of Perseverance."

Activated Across all Platforms

In addition to social, the campaign extended to digital, broadcast and print. A robust digital headquarters served as an aggregating hub—showcasing the program, custom content, infographics, an interactive quiz and driving chalice sales. Homepage takeovers and digital media linked to the digital HQ and Amazon marketplace which, in turn, drove Chalice purchases. Additionally, 12 broadcast spots were created to reach viewers, with themes including holistic program awareness, World Water Day Month and Day, Chalice purchases and documentary promotion.


The Stella Artois and National Geographic partnership garnered more than 200MM impressions, more than half of which were from social media. Together, National Geographic and Stella Artois sparked a global conversation and encouraged personal action through the "Buy A Lady A Drink" campaign. Through the distribution of eye-opening statistics and by spotlighting personal stories, the global water issue was made tangible and urgent to the everyday consumer. Overall, the 2017 Stella Artois and MediaCom "Buy a Lady a Drink" campaign helped more than half a million people in the developing world gain access to clean and sustainable drinking water (through U.S. Chalice sales, trade contribution, and U.S. contribution to global contract).

By planning a campaign in conjunction with World Water Day, National Geographic and Stella Artois contributed relevant content to the WWD conversation and maximized impact. In one day, the WWD social takeover yielded more than 81.3MM social impressions, 3.5MM likes, 465K video views and 12K comments. Additionally, Instagram stories, Snapchat takeovers and social posts throughout the initiative provided more than 54MM social impressions and 1.75MM likes.


Video for National Geographic + Stella + MediaCom: World Water Month

Entrant Company / Organization Name

National Geographic + Stella + MediaCom