Pepsi’s Aquafina Puts Resolutions on Film

PepsiCo’s Aquafina hopes to capitalize on the hope and optimism a new year brings with its latest branded entertainment effort. It’s launched a microsite, developed by agency Tribal DDB, featuring short films that represent user-submitted New Year’s resolutions.

The site aims to send the message that drinking more water is one of the easiest resolutions you can keep, according to Scott Johnson, executive creative director at Tribal DDB Dallas.

Aquafina launched an early version of the site on December 10 asking visitors to submit their New Year’s resolutions. Submissions were then created into short films produced by Los Angeles production company Subliminal.

The films engage consumers without screaming Aquafina. They are also cost-effective, according to the agency. “We’re going to wind up with over 20 minutes of original content for a fraction of the cost a major brand would spend on a television spot,” said Johnson. “‘We’re creating an experience online that will engage for many minutes.”

The resulting ten films include interpretations of the resolutions “Overcome My Fear of Heights and Dogs,” “Become U.S. Air Guitar Champion,” and “Improve my Anger Management Skills.” One resolution, “I Resolve to Travel the World on a Scooter,” shows a man sitting on his Vespa in a garage while filmstrips of city streets play in the background.

The site also includes tips on how to keep resolutions, and an explanation on why drinking more water is the easiest to be successful with. One film will be uploaded at 12:01 am each day from January 2 to January 11.

An ad campaign with a substantial online buy has already attracted an overwhelming number of site visitors and submissions, Johnson said, but he couldn’t divulge exact numbers. “Having enough submissions was not a problem,” he said.

Planning for the Aquafina Resolutions site began in October, though a large portion of the work was completed once the submissions came in from users in December. Johnson said the team worked at “breakneck speed” all along.

Rather than take the user-generated nature of the effort further — by letting users submit films themselves, for example — Tribal DDB chose to limit involvement to textual submissions because of the need for timeliness. “User created content is an interesting idea; we didn’t feel it was viable in our case because the schedule was so tight,” said Johnson. “The further we get from January first, the less interested people will be in creating video on New Year’s resolutions.”

An additional site includes a “Resolution Reality Contest,” game, celebrity resolution videos and tips on healthy eating.

Previous online campaigns from Aquafina include a sponsorship of Olympus Fashion week. Film remains on the water bottler’s radar and it could have a presence at a handful of prominent film festivals.

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