A 2013 study in the journal Pediatrics showed nearly 80 percent of the food endorsed by top athletes was "energy dense and nutrient poor," while 93 percent of beverages endorsed got 100 percent of their calories from added sugar. Last year, Brita, the maker of water filtration products, and Stephen Curry, one of the biggest names in sports, teamed up to buck that trend.
Already a partner in Drink Up, an effort from the Partnership for Healthier America and its honorary chairwoman First Lady Michelle Obama to encourage people to drink water more often, Brita had shown a commitment in its marketing efforts to get Americans to pick water.
While Brita faced challengers from low-priced competitors within its category, it was up against big budgets and high-priced endorsement deals to change hydration habits. We needed a boost to make water the beverage of choice and it came with a superstar spokesperson in Stephen Curry.
Brita tapped Current to help create excitement and engagement around the endorsement and to use Stephen in a way that maximized the opportunity to elevate "water" as a top beverage choice not just of a professional athlete but for those motivated by his message.
That effort would be measured by:
-Increasing positive social chatter around water by 10% in Brita's third year of partnership with Drink Up
-Making hydration and water a topic of conversation outside the confines of health outlets and influencers with mainstream media garnering 110MM impressions
Tapping two-time NBA MVP Stephen Curry to provide a strong voice to promote water as the best choice and foundation for a healthy lifestyle as a healthy figure and family role model provided a great platform from which to build an integrated marketing campaign that spanned PR, marketing, advertising and social.
The team strategically rolled out the campaign over months, leveraging key moments in time when conversation around Curry in general would be high. Specifically we worked to:
-Announce Brita's partnership with Curry to generate national news across broadcast, online and social to promote a pro-water message
-Connect Curry with families to encourage making healthy decisions and choosing water over sugary beverages
-Engage consumers with content and social to promote water over other beverages and build buzz
To deliver on our strategies, the team executed with excellence and a focus on social sharing sparked by Stephen's own social influence. Specifically we:
-Secured an exclusive advance of the partnership announcement with Curry with ESPN's Darren Rovell, which ran Dec 16, 2015, generating national pick-up beyond sports and health news, including ABC Radio, Advertising Age, the Bay Area News Group, among others, and a flurry of social shares
-On Mar 8, 2016, the Brita team and Curry teamed up to talk to elementary-school kids in Oakland, Calif. about making healthy decisions and the importance of drinking water, the NBA All-Star's beverage of choice. A mix of water advocates, Oakland community partners, national top-tier sports and lifestyle outlets, and online publications were in attendance to witness the excitement in Curry's surprise visit to a local school, which culminated in select students dousing the player in water, a fun moment that went viral, including a mention the following morning as a trending topic on the TODAY show
-Brita and Curry launched Splash Studio, a campaign to get fans, health advocates, schools, film makers and more to make water a star, creating original commercials for the beverage that could go toe-to-toe with the best that beer or soda can offer and help move water to the spotlight. The maker of the winning spot, chosen by consumer voting, will win $25,000 and have their entry produced by Brita with an appearance by Curry to air on TV and Stephen's Twitter at the start of the 2016/2017 NBA season
-Ten hand-picked celebrities, including Kurt Warner, Chris Powell, and others, and social stars sparked engagement and influenced social buzz around program efforts and drove to Splash Studio, generating original content that promoted water
-Turned the taping of the Splash Studios spot into an opportunity to extend the media message with Stephen appearing on Ellen, alongside the First Lady, and an on-set sit-down with Access Hollywood that aired over multiple nights
-In late October, we unveiled the Splash Studios final cut with a preview on Access Hollywood, then full distribution on NBA TV, Brita's social channels and Stephen's Twitter account
The team successfully met program objectives and moved water to the mainstream, including:
-Promoted and increased positive social chatter around water by 12% in Brita's third year of partnership with Drink Up
*Social buzz generated from partnership announcement coverage, including a Tweet from the First Lady touting Curry's choice to side with water, Splash Studio content, and Drink Up efforts generated 70.9MM social impressions
*Curry's Facebook post featuring the students dousing him with water generated an astonishing 1.7MM views, more than 6,000 shares and 87,000 reactions. His Tweet with the final Splash Studios spot garnered 1.6K shares and 6.9K likes
*Influencer support produced 33 pieces of original content, drove more than 20,000 visits to Splash Studio and nearly 2,000 content shares
*The Ellen interview which included a Brita mention garnered 6.6MM views on Ellen's YouTube channel
-Made hydration and water a topic of conversation outside the confines of health outlets and influencers with mainstream media garnering 110MM impressions
*Coverage around Brita's partnership with Curry and Drink Up efforts garnered 318MM+ media impressions from a mix of news, sports, local and entertainment outlets across broadcast, print and digital, including key placements on Mashable, Associated Press, Yahoo!, CBS Sports, NPR's Marketplace, OK! Magazine
*Social sharing totalled 70.9MM impressions from celebrity, fan and media accounts