Poland Spring is leading up to this year's TCS New York City Marathon on Nov. 2 with a video-based social campaign.
The brand, which is marking its 20th year as the official bottled water sponsor of the marathon, will offer runners the opportunity to create "Poland Spring Cheers" videos thanking their families and friends who have supported them on their journeys to this year's race. Runners will be encouraged to share the videos on social media using #PolandSpringCheers, and Poland Spring will use its own Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts to drive the initiative.
Runners will be able to shoot their videos in booths at a Poland Spring Marathon Kickoff Event on Oct. 26 and the TCS New York City Marathon Health and Fitness Expo from Oct. 30 through Nov. 1. Those not attending the events will be encouraged to shoot their own videos on their phones or computers and share them using #PolandSpringCheers.
Poland Spring partnered with well-known running bloggers to drive awareness of the video initiative. For example, Amanda Brooks posted an "Ultimate Guide to Running Hydration" on her Run to the Finish blog, and Monica Olivas posted "Cheers to the New York City Marathon Runners" on her Run Eat Repeat blog — and both embedded their own "Poland Spring Cheers" videos.
Poland Spring also recruited running nutritionist Lisa Dorfman and New York Road Runners coach John Honerkamp to do media outreach for the marathon. The two are offering to provide marathon training tips.
In addition, on Oct. 28 and 29, Poland Spring will pass out free bottles of water at the Union Square subway station, where it's also featuring a series of ads (see above) thanking New Yorkers for making it the #1 beverage brand in the city.
Nielsen data show Poland Spring's New York metro area sales topping $506 million last year — 35% greater than Coca-Cola (including diet and other varieties and flavors), and more than double all Pepsi-branded beverage sales, according to Poland Spring. Nielsen also reported that Poland Spring is the top-selling New York beverage by sales volume.
Bottled water as a whole was the only beverage category to see a volume uptick in the New York market last year, and the category now outsells carbonated soft drinks in grocery stores in 16 major markets, including Boston, Miami and Los Angeles, as well as New York, also per Nielsen.
Poland Spring, one of Nestle Waters North America's regional bottled spring water brands, is also a bestseller in other Northeast markets, including Boston, Albany and Hartford/New Haven.
Beyond the NYC marathon, the brand's marketing program includes a Yankees sponsorship, and an ongoing relationship with New York Road Runners. It also invested in a significant presence at last year's Boston Marathon, senior brand manager Greg Berumen tells Marketing Daily.