Nestlé Waters of North America (NWNA) is investing in an ambitious marketing campaign for its newest brand, Resource 100% Spring Water, now being launched in the Southern California market.
What differentiates Resource (which the brand spells with a lower-case initial “r”) from the plethora of existing bottled water brands and varieties?
Resource is offering three benefits: It’s natural spring water from sustainable sources (a California spring owned by NWNA); it’s spring water that contains naturally occurring electrolytes that produce a “crisp, clean” taste; and its bottles are made of 50% recycled plastic, as well as being recyclable.
As a premium bottled-water line (individual 1-liter and 700-milliliter bottles have suggested retails of $1.69 and $1.49, respectively), Resource aims to fill a segment gap for NWNA above its value-priced Nestlé Pure Life Purified Water and mid-priced regional spring water brands (Poland Spring, Arrowhead, Deer Park, Ice Mountain, Ozarka and Zephyrhills). That puts Resource in competition with premium brands including Danone Group’s Evian and Coca-Cola’s Smartwater.
Resource’s core target audience is women 35 to 45, typically married and with children, who are affluent, have “holistic” lifestyles and tend to be “thought leaders,” reports Larry Cooper, senior marketing manager for Resource. “These are women who have a sense of discovery. They’re into discovering the latest trends and products and being the first to share them with their friends.”
The brand’s marketing strategy speaks directly to this audience. Its integrated advertising campaign, from McCann Erickson, New York, is themed: “It’s more than hydration, it’s total Electrolytenment.”
Sample copy: “Say Namaste to resource. A new holistic bottled water. It’s sustainably sourced spring water. With natural electrolytes for taste. In a bottle made of 50% recycled plastic. It’s nature. Helping you. Helping nature. That, young grasshopper, is total Electrolytenment.”
The campaign includes print (regional splits of People and other audience-targeted national magazines, as well as upscale regionals like
Sunset), out-of-home, banner ads on DailyCandy and other targeted sites, and of course social media (including Facebook and Twitter
Sampling events, key to all product launches, will in Resource’s case focus on events and venues that draw the target audience, such as yoga studios, reports Cooper.
The campaign kicked off with an April 26 media event at L.A. green-event venue SmogShoppe, hosted by Resource, Jeremiah Brent of “The Rachel Zoe Project” and DailyCandy, and benefitting L.A.’s Women Empowered nonprofit. (Au courant “lifestyle experts” on fashion, fitness, beauty and home design and entertaining provided guests with tips.)
And in an example of inspired use of technology, from May 3 to 6, at The Grove in L.A., Resource drew crowds of curious consumers with a “Fountain of Electrolytenment” installation that let people pose questions and see them instantaneously answered in the form of words created by falling water droplets.
While most installations using fountain-scripting technology offer up pre-programmed answers, for this one, McCann Erickson, working with industrial designer Steve Pevnick (“father” of fountain-scripting technology), devised an elaborate solution that enabled people to speak their questions into a glowing orb (with a mic hidden in it) and see highly relevant, specific, witty responses materialize in the water.
The secret? Resource employed comedians (hidden from the public’s view) to type out responses to each question via an instant-messaging interface with the fountain, according to Don Marshall Wilhelmi, associate creative director/copywriter, and part of the McCann team on the project. Since the comedians could see the person asking the question, they were able to incorporate funny comments about their apparel, hairstyles and so forth.
This installation was also unusual because, rather than a typical scaffolding-visible appearance, the agency worked with VFX production company FrameStore, scenic design shop Jet Sets, and UK-based sustainable design specialists CURB to create an attractive, naturalistic setting for the fountain, complete with living moss elements.
The installation was produced with events/promotions agency Ryan Partnership and public relations firm Cone Communications.
Cooper says that NWNA is confident that Resource will be well-received in Southern California. Assuming it meets the company’s goals/expectations, the brand may eventually be expanded to other regions.
Prior to this full-market launch in Southern California, an earlier version of Resource, with a different marketing/business proposition, had a limited introduction in a portion of the Whole Foods chain starting in 2009.
NWNA has a 41% share of the PET bottled water category and seven of the top 10 bottled water brands in the U.S., according to its site. Nestlé Pure Life is the #1 bottled-water brand in the U.S. and Canada, and the third-largest brand in the total beverage category.