Liquid I.V. Takes On Hot Events, Including Miami's Formula 1 Race

On April 13, Unilever’s Liquid I.V will serve as title sponsor of Neon Carnival, which kicks off the summer music festival season.

Perhaps most fittingly for the powdered drink brand known for its hydrating properties, the California event takes place in a desert locale with the scorching name of Thermal.

So Neon Carnival should provide a great lead-in to what Stacey Andrade-Wells, Liquid I.V.’s vice president of marketing, calls Hydration Season.

And Hydration Season, Andrade-Wells told Pharma & Health Insider, will kick off May 3-5 with Liquid I.V’s massive involvement in and around the third annual Formula 1 Miami Grand Prix.

Keep that name in mind, since Liquid I.V. has kindly asked us to use the entire moniker whenever we refer to the event, just as Andrade-Wells mostly did during our interview. We do, however, have a maximum word count, so in order to include as much info as we can about Liquid I.V.’s immersive and ambitious campaign, we’ll herewith use such terms as “the Miami event.”

We won’t, however, say “the Miami race,” since our conversation with Andrade-Wells left us convinced that the Miami event is so much more than just auto racing. Indeed, she said the two-year partnership deal represents Liquid I.V.’s first entry into the “intersection of sports, entertainment and hospitality.”

Calling the event “truly a de-hydration moment for everyone in attendance,” Andrade-Wells pointed out that the weekend will touch on all four of Liquid I.V’s “four key usage occasions: heat-related dehydration, exercise-related dehydration, travel and night life.”

On the heat-related front, playing off Formula 1’s Drag Reduction System -- or DRS, which drivers can activate at certain times during their races -- Liquid I.V. will feature its own DRS, or Dehydration Reduction System.

“As the day goes on and on, and it starts to heat up, screens around the venue will provide hydration reminders in real-time,” Andrade-Wells continued. These alerts will trigger an on-site DRS team to provide such hydration solutions as tableside mocktails made with Liquid I.V. products, swag giveways, and mist-blowing rehydration.

Entertainment-wise,the brand’s key activation at the event will be a Liquid IV Racehouse, featuring a simulated Formula 1 racing game, with the top-ranked player at the end of the weekend receiving an unlimited supply of Liquid I.V. for a year.

Perhaps most visibly, Liquid I.V. samples -- in branded reusable cups from Turn Systems -- will be distributed throughout the weekend. Andrade-Wells calls sampling “the cornerstone of our marketing strategy…because when consumers try Liquid I.V., we have a very strong opportunity to convert them to a complete user because that first experience with the product is so transformational.”

Brand video spots will also play on screens throughout the venue. 

But Liquid I.V.’s Miami presence won’t be restricted to the expected 240,000 Formula 1 attendees.

That weekend will also mark the launch of Liquid I.V.’s brand-new national field marketing team, Andrade-Wells revealed. The team’s first stop will be at the University of Miami, with activities including product sampling.

Additionally, Liquid I.V. has teamed with Hope Hydration to set up nine water distribution stations in the Wynwood and South Beach areas. The locations will not only offer clean water but a chance to win tickets to the Formula 1 event.

And a Miami media plan, starting before the weekend, will include out-of-home,  Andrade-Wells said.

The Miami event will also launch Liquid I.V.'s summertime creative campaign, called “Tear. Pour. Live. More.”

Nationally, Liquid I.V. is kicking off a sponsorship presence in “Grand Prix Sunday” Formula 1 pre-race broadcasts on ESPN and ABC.

Helping out Liquid I.V. on all of this are agencies Tinuiti for media, Viral Nation for field marketing and NVE for experiential activations.

Liquid I.V.’s involvement in what Andrade-Wells called “real moments where hydration is so relevant to everyone who’s in attendance” will continue at other events throughout the summer, although she couldn’t yet reveal much beyond an agreement with Live Nation.

While the Miami event marks Liquid I.V.'s first pro auto racing partnership, the brand has been involved in many events, mainly musical, in the past -- including its own branded “playgrounds” in conjunction with its $20 million “Fuel Your Play” campaign in 2022.

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