WPP’s Y&R and sibling digital shop VML have developed a quirky gizmo to encourage Americans to keep hydrated — a talking water fountain.
The talking fountain was developed by the agencies (and built by YesYesNo LLC) as part of their work for the Partnership For A Healthier America’s “Drink Up” initiative.
The so-called “Drink Up Fountain” dispenses greetings and compliments that are intended to entice the drinker to continue sipping. When a drinker’s lips touch the water, the fountain “talks,” completing a circuit and activating speakers. When the drinker pulls his or her head away, the voice stops.
One fountain is set up in New York City’s Brooklyn Bridge Park, where hidden cameras caught unsuspecting individuals taking sips and reacting to the chatty fountain.
Among the quips uttered by the fountain: “Refreshing, isn’t it,” and “your feeding one trillion thirsty cells right now.”
The talking fountain is part of a broader “Drink Up” campaign that has been seen on more than one billion products and engaged hundreds of millions of people through social media, advertising, events and celebrity ambassadors.
“Water is often taken for granted,” said PHA CMO Drew Nannis. “The Drink Up Fountain is yet another effort to remind people that you are what you drink, and when you drink water you Drink Up.”
Research from Nielsen Catalina Solutions shows that the first online ad campaign for Drink Up fueled a 3% lift in incremental sales of bottled water among those exposed to the campaign. That research followed a Forbes piece that showed the number of eight-ounce servings of plain water drunk per day from all sources (bottled, tap, filtered) was up 2.7% for the quarter ending March 31, 2014, compared with the fall quarter of 2013, when the campaign was launched.
Currently there are two talking fountains that will be shuttled to various events and cities around the country. Over time the plan is to make more fountains as permanent fixtures.