In 2021, smartwater needed a way to refresh its brand image and introduce people on social to its new platform, “Keep Living Smart.” The campaign was born out of the insight that, in today’s oversaturated climate of preachy health/self-care trends and unsubstantiated wellness claims, Millennial and Gen Z consumers don’t want to be told how to lead a smart and healthy lifestyle. They already know how to do that. Instead, they’re looking for validation and empowerment to keep living smart on their terms, however, that looks for them.
As a premium brand with a history of iconic celebrity partnerships over the years, smartwater aimed to disrupt the hydration category once again. Except this time, with a familiar face that may not be known for health and wellness but is the perfect person to subvert the conversation and give the brand a more approachable appeal: Pete Davidson.
Our goal was to reinvigorate smartwater on Instagram with unique content leveraging Pete’s authentic and “off-the-beaten-path” personality to drive brand interest and relevance with a younger, more down-to-earth audience.
We started by teasing the arrival of Pete Davidson on our Instagram feed, archiving all past content, and wiping our channel clean in preparation for a fresh start.
We then shared sneaky glimpses of our new hydration hero followed by a splashy reveal introducing Pete as the new face of smartwater, taking the brand back to its roots of black and white photography with pops of color accentuating the bottle. And we did it at a time when America needed it most: July 5, the day after Independence Day, which the brand dubbed as “Rehydration Day.” Because after all of the fireworks, celebration, and impending hangovers, everyone could use a little water to snap back and find balance, which is just one way to Keep Living Smart.
Amplifying the reach of Rehydration Day, we tapped various influencers and everyday smartwater drinkers across Instagram, sharing the ways in which they “keep living smart” and encouraging fans in our community to engage. Those that did had the exclusive opportunity to be surprised and delighted with their own limited smartwater keg, filled with high-quality H2O.
Following Rehydration Day, we kept our audience’s thirst for more Pete content at bay with ongoing content throughout the year—populating our Instagram feed with bloopers, BTS content, socially-optimized TVC cutdowns, and a social-first series known as “Pete-isms,” where Pete served up unconventional advice from someone who’s led an unconventional life. With every piece of Pete content that we put out, our fans showed up to drink it all in.
From building suspense to making a splash, we harnessed the power of community to create mass conversation and awareness. We teased our partnership with Pete with our community, bringing in 65k organic impressions and encouraging consumers to stay hydrated during the July 4th holiday weekend. Rehydration Day launch with Pete brought in 359k impressions in the first two weeks alone.
We maintained buzz through ongoing Pete content, garnering 14,621,835 organic impressions and 101.5k engagements as we reinforced the brand platform, “keep living smart” and explored Pete-isms. Paid content drove 731,824,119 impressions, 337.9k engagements, and stopped the scroll with a VTR of 4.62.
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