Rev Your Bev is a statewide campaign to improve the health of all Virginians by encouraging people to drink more water. Since 2013, Rev Your Bev has given parents and youth across Virginia information and resources to help them make healthier beverage choices.
Virginians already know water is healthy, but they think it is boring. The current campaign's objective is to increase the appeal of water to help it better compete with unhealthy beverages. In addition, the campaign needed to drive people to think seriously about changing their behaviors by convincing them to use the Rev Your Bev tools to plan their increased water consumption. By motivating Virginians and driving measurable online actions, the campaign will be in the best position to cause real change.
Rev Your Bev set out to increase the appeal of water by marketing it with the same excitement and fun typically associated with sugar sweetened beverages (SSBs), like sodas and sports drinks. In addition, we set out to facilitate behavior change by providing an online resource to plan the switch.
Virginia families that currently drink SSBs want to live healthier and generally know that water is a better choice. However, they face obstacles within their own families to make the switch. Whether it's kids and teens that are influenced by SSB advertising, or spouses that don't want to change old habits, families have the reasons to change but lack the motivation to do so.
Our strategy focused on increasing motivation and facilitating behavior change through TV, digital, social media, and an interactive digital experience. First, we recognized that many people think water is boring because it is always the same. SSB advertising often focuses on flavor variety, with new flavors regularly advertised. Consequently, to make water more exciting, we needed to show off it's variety. Next, we needed to give water a fun identity. Drinking water "because it's healthy" isn't enough for many people, they need to feel like taking a break to drink water can be fun and pleasurable. To achieve both needs, we created a jingle-based video that celebrated the diverse forms of water.
The spot features a catchy, rhythmic jingle that repeats the various ways to enjoy water: from a tap, a bottle, through a filter, with bubbles, or by adding fruit. The repetition helps our audience remember the many ways to drink water and the convenience of water, while the jingle makes water seem more pleasurable and exciting. In addition, through the repetition we were able to visually represent even more diversity through different flavors of fruit-infused water. This approach is a significant departure from health-focused messaging, recognizing that even when your behavior is healthier, you have to satisfy the audience's other needs and desires.
Next, we needed to give the audience a way to plan for their behavior change while reinforcing the diversity of water options. To accomplish this, we developed an online "Flavor Finder" that uses your food and drink preferences to recommend fruit-infused water recipes you might enjoy. For example, if you prefer spicy foods, it recommends a cucumber, jalapeno, lime sparkling water mix, while savory food lovers might enjoy iced apple-cinnamon water.
Across Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and YouTube, Virginians were served with various versions of the flagship commercial, followed by pushes to the Flavor Finder. Supplemental social media content shared water recipes in static and video format, driving users to find their perfect flavor on the website. We strategically used a variety of different creative types and lengths to appeal to our audience. For example, we included video ads accompanied by recipes on Pinterest, while running stop-motion videos on Facebook to break through the noise. All campaign elements were integrated to drive maximum traffic to the Flavor Finder.
This campaign successfully showcased water as the healthiest and most appealing choice. Through platform-based strategies, and creative focused on what people care most about, we were able to generate 1.5M social impressions, and over 300,000 video views with a media budget under $12k. Across Facebook and Twitter, we received 67k Video Views and 38k Completions; a 57% Video Completion rate. On YouTube, there were 166k video completions and an additional 261k video views.
Where this strategy worked best was Pinterest. We used our knowledge of this platform and created water recipes that accompanied gifs and still images taken directly from our video. Pinterest resulted in half of our total impressions and video views. In addition, we received 750 Pinterest saves from our water recipes.
Most importantly, the campaign was designed to drive behavior change, which was measured by completion of the digital experience, The Flavor Finder. 4,042 unique individuals started the Flavor Finder, of which 2,952 completed the full, 3 - 5 minute experience, a 73% completion rate. With a media budget of just $12k, the cost per completion was $4. Considering this may be someone's first step in deciding to reduce SSB consumption, the campaign cost was pennies on the dollar compared to the healthcare costs associated by SSBs.
By highlighting the varieties of water, creating a fun digital experience, and using the sophisticated marketing strategies of beverage companies, Rev Your Bev helped the audience see water as a fun and desirable way to stay hydrated.
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