Marketing campaigns, especially those on social media, have traditionally had the main objective of becoming the appealing point of a brand’s image, enhancing whatever fantasy people may have about the brand. Thus, influencers who are engaged usually edit their photos to perfection so as to create THE wonderful image (literally) that speaks for the brand.
Now take a look at this:
Shocking isn’t it. Would it be even more astounding to say that this photo has been photoshopped?
Except, rather than photoshopping the imperfections away, the rubbish you see in the waters was the one photoshopped into the picture.
That’s right. Photoshopped into the picture. But who and why is this brand doing so?
Brita GmbH is a German water filter company and it is the one behind this ingenious idea. It creates products including water jugs, kettles and tap integrations with integrated recyclable filters. Since the company deals a lot in the water filtration industry, Brita felt that it was apt to bring awareness to one of the most socially pressing matters in that industry which is, water pollution, along with its product: Filtering Water Bottles that also have a miniature water filter.
The Marketing Campaign
In the summer of 2019, Brita USA decided on a marketing campaign for their water bottles.
The main aim of the campaign is to have consumers change their everyday habit of buying single-use bottles of water to buying the filtering water bottles that can be used multiple times. The company claims that by using their filters, one could save 1,800 plastic bottles a year.
The campaign also pivots on the hashtag #NoFilterNoFuture. This short yet direct hashtag is impactful. It serves to create buzz about the alarming plastic waste while capturing the attention of people towards both the environmental campaign and the brand itself.
The other side of the campaign is the ‘shock’ factor which is the unique selling point of this campaign. The contrast between the pictorial poses and the rubbish-strewn background serves to give a shocking revelation to the audience which then, leaves an ‘ominous’ yet lasting impression of what the future generations’ reality might be, that is, a world full of waste and pollution.
Influencer Case Studies
The first one is a new influencer Brita engaged: @malloryonthemoon.
She posted this photo on her personal account:
View this post on Instagram
Living in a small town in Ohio, it can be hard to start working towards a more sustainable lifestyle. Unlike urban cities, here, no one really is aware of the effects of carbon footprints or even thinking about how they can leave less of an impact with reducing waste. I often struggle with this and the mindset of “well everyone else around me is doing it.” Well honestly, I feel as though I really need to start working towards a more sustainable lifestyle, and if you’re feeling the same way, it’s never too late to start. I am pledging with @britausa to reduce single use plastic bottle waste. I know none of us are perfect, but if we don’t start taking better care of Earth, this is what our beaches could look like in the future. #nofilternofuture #BritaPartner #Ad
The aesthetics matched perfectly to the company’s vision. Beautiful pinkish-orange filtered picture where Mallory is sporting a fashionable two-piece tan bikini. She also poses as if she is doing a photoshoot for a magazine and all in all, looks very professional. Moving on to where the sandy beach is though and the picture suddenly tells a different story. Rubbish, mainly plastic bottles are strewn all around her, ‘ruining’ the otherwise perfect picture.
While very different from her other clean (literally) shots, this particular post still fit into the orange-pink aesthetics of Mallory’s account:
This is also how the post fared:
It did 2 times better than her average posts, which usually garner about 6k likes. In fact, it is the 2nd highest performing post of @malloryonthemoon in the last 3 months, with 11,601 likes and 397 comments.
The next influencer is @kevindroniak, an influencer known for his love for the sea and nature.
This was his published post as a #britapartner:
View this post on Instagram
As you know, I love the ocean and all things natural on our planet. Unfortunately, the Earth is becoming more and more unnatural by the minute due to the use of single use plastic bottle waste. I’ve partnered with @britausa to show you what our beaches could look like if we continue to ignore the devastating effects that single use plastic has on our environment. If you didn’t know, over EIGHT MILLION TONS of plastic enter the ocean every year… which equates to a garbage truck emptying plastic into the ocean every minute…scary! #NoFilterNoFuture #BritaPartner
Again, this post matches the highly saturated aesthetics of his other posts:
Moreover, the post maintained the blue motif that is seen in every other picture. Using a similar picture composition of the previous influencer, Kevin is in his fun swimwear, posing in a relaxed, blissful manner. However, the beautiful Cerulean waters are muddled by the existence of plastic waste.
The juxtaposition of a seemingly relaxed and possibly ignorant aura of Kevin’s pose is parallel to the current state where consumers aren’t yet alarmed by the plastic waste in the waters, serving as a severe warning of our current actions.
Again, this post did exceedingly well. Despite being posted on the 28 June, it became the most-liked photo of the month, with 4,053 likes.
In fact, the message it sent was so powerful that it is now the 2nd highest performing post of @kevindroniak’s account in the last 3 months, with 1.5 times more likes and 2 times more comments than his usual posts get (3k likes and 20 comments).
Something these two posts have in common is that despite being advertisements, they’ve become among the posts that garnered the highest engagements. It shows one, that Brita has chosen the perfect influencers for the job (both of whom, love nature) and two, the ‘shocking revelation’ method by Brita has been successful.
From June to July (current running duration of the campaign), Brita has reposted 3 posts from a random selection of influencers and tagged #nofilternofuture. The average engagement of posts with the hashtag received 243 likes and 9 comments, which is higher than the average of other posts (234 likes and 7 comments). In fact, the top-performing post (which was the post by @malloryonthemoon) received 428 likes:
Making it the best overall post of @britausa in the last 3 months.
@Britausa also experiences an audience growth of 1.56% in the last 30 days, which is healthy for a growing company like Brita.
But, the most convincing evidence of success is perhaps the comment section on Brita’s posts, many of which are about how Brita’s advertisement was so convincing that they just had to get the bottle:
I think Brita outdid themselves with such a unique marketing campaign that tells not only a cautionary tale but also encourage people to take action, a refreshing breather compared to other companies and institutions denying Climate Change and Environmental responsibilities.
Hopefully, this article inspires you to think out of the box for your next campaign and perhaps, even weave some social goodness into the vision of your next product.
Want more inspiration? Check out Gucci’s unconventional marketing campaign and its results right here!