Marketing in Real-Time: Evian Combines Social Media Efforts with Product Sample Delivery for Strong Results

Evian and Twitter

An interesting article in Adweek discusses a marketing campaign developed by Evian that enabled the brand to promote its product through a real-time service supported by social media as its communication vehicle. The real-time service was the delivery of bottles of its bottled water to consumers in Manhattan in need of refreshment and the communication vehicle was Twitter.

Evian developed the hashtag #Evianbottleservice as a way for people to reach out to Evian and request bottles of water. The only requirement to qualify for the service was that the person reaching out used the hashtag and a description of his current location. Through a coordinated effort between Evian team members, it was only a matter of minutes after the tweet went out that a brand ambassador or two would show up with a bottle of water to serve to the person who sent the Tweet. Brand ambassadors would show up on bicycles branded with Evian’s logo and colors and would provide the bottle of water to the person in need. To further enhance the customer service component and help increase brand awareness the brand ambassadors would go so far as using an Evian branded umbrella to provide shade from the sun while they were receiving the bottle service. In at least one case, Maria Sharapova, who is endorsed by Evian, even showed up. Did we mention that this campaign took its act on the road to the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center once the U.S. Open began as part of Evian’s sponsorship of the tournament?

Evian reports that the effort has yielded some impressive results claiming that there there were 3.5 times more mentions of the brand on a daily basis between August 15th and 21st compared to competitors. In addition, the brand reports that it saw 2.8 million impressions and 75,000 engagements on Twitter during the time of the campaign. It certainly seems that the #Evianbottleservice campaign provided value for the brand in a number of regards. One benefit that may not have immediately come to mind was the opportunity to take footage of the brand ambassadors providing bottle service to people on the streets which helped to provide some entertaining content for a video the company has posted on its YouTube page. The video can be viewed at the end of this post.

Evian began the campaign by providing some basic information in order to both educate and entice consumers on what was to come. The company focused on targeting consumers in high profile parks in Manhattan, such as Madison Square Park and Bryant Park during the warmest times of the day. In order to help facilitate a healthy level of engagement from consumers in these areas the company used Promoted Tweets (a form of paid advertisement on Twitter) to target ZIP codes around the targeted neighborhoods.

In the end Evian was able to increase the reach of its social media marketing efforts as well as potentially gain some new customers and fans of the brand. For the individuals who received the bottle service this was most likely a memorable experience and for those around, whom surely at least took a few moments to pause and observe the experience, it would have been hard not to notice what brand was responsible for making it all happen. Evian was able to provide a real life example of the value of its product and the values that are central to its brand in the context of a situation where individuals have a need for refreshment. This campaign is a great example of how a company can use modern technology, along with an understanding of how people engage with it to produce a winning marketing effort.

So, from a marketing management perspective here are some questions to consider:

  • How might you use this type of real-time marketing approach with another company to promote a brand and its product(s)? Just like Evian focused on parks in the summer time what would be the places and moments when you would attempt to get consumers to engage with your brand and product(s) through this type of approach?
  • What other metrics would you be interested in looking at to understand the value of Evian’s campaign?
  • Is there anything that you would add or change in regards to Evian’s approach to its #Evianbottleservice campaign in order to help provide a clearer connection to the impact that the effort had on the company’s bottom line? Why or why not?