Fiji Water is the No. 1 premium bottled-water brand in the US but has never felt the need to advertise on TV—until now.
The brand owned by Roll Global debuted a $30 million marketing campaign on Monday, under the banner “Untouched,” with a series of 30-second spots (and the hashtag #EarthsFinest) designed to reinforce the brand’s autheniticity by promoting the pristine origins of its pure water source along its namesake homeland.
The water really does come from Fiji, from a source on the island of Viti Levu at an ancient aquifer “deep within the earth where it remains protected from external impurities,” as the brand puts it in a press release today.[more]
— FIJI Water (@FIJIWater) February 16, 2015
“Fiji Water has been subtly telling our story for more than two decades,” Clarence Chia, vice president of marketing for Fiji Water, commented.
“As we continue our growth trajectory, we wanted to re-introduce the brand more broadly to consumers,” he added. “The ‘Untouched’ campaign beautifully tells our brand story and we are excited to share that message with the world.”
Roll Global, which has owned the brand since 2004, is the power behind other products formerly considered commodities that it has turned into powerful natural-products brands, including the Pom Wonderful pomegranate juice and Wonderful Pistachios. Its latest such effort has revolved around its new Halo mandarin-oranges brand.
While Fiji Water has been around as a brand for two decades and reports that it outsells all other premium bottled-water brands combined in the US, it stands to benefit from a sharpened identity in a beverage segment that is only continuing to grow, on its way to eclipsing the rapidly declining carbonated soft-drink category as the largest in the global beverage business.
Its first ad campaign not only celebrates the natural beauty of its namesake homeland, but also features an original soundtrack by Grammy-winning composer Lorne Balfe, who worked with members of the Nawaka Village Methodist Choir in Fiji to create a stirring choral score.
brandchannel spoke with Chia to find out why now, and why this ad campaign (watch more spots below).
bc: What’s the strategy behind the timing of this first-ever TV campaign for the brand?
Clarence Chia: We have quite a bit of momentum, and we’re focused on really doubling our growth year over year. We started 2015 by creating a new label for the brand. With our TV campaign, we have two goals: tell the story of Fiji Water and remind consumers that it really does come from Fiji. We’re excited about the potential for our brand and our business.
Already, we’re the No. 1 premium bottled water and if you look at the entire category, we grew twice as much last year as the category growth. That’s quite amazing considering that the other brands include Evian, Smartwater, Aquafina, Dasani. But we want to compete even with carbonated soft drinks (CSDs).
bc: What did your research tell you about whether US consumers appreciated the actual origins of Fiji Water?
Chia: We have seen some research about it. Some consumers don’t know that it really does come from Fiji. That’s why we’re making it the main point of our ads. It’s a differentiator for us.
Lots of other bottled waters are spring waters or are produced through a reverse-osmosis process, or even come from municipal water; we’re one of very few artesian waters out there, and the only one in the top 10. That’s where Fiji Water gets its minerals, and it’s a superior source because of how it’s protected from the elements.
bc: And you’re pretty convinced that greater awareness of these facts will make a difference to bottled-water consumers?
Chia: Consumers are trying to make healthier choices. We know in 2016, for instance, that bottled water will overtake CSDs as the top beverage category (in the US). And so we wanted to educate a broader consumer base about what makes us unique—that it starts with clouds, rainfall, filtering and filtering underground and picking up essential minerals that give us our signature soft taste.
Also, that we have a state-of-the-art facility sitting on our aquifer where natural pressures force it into bottles where it’s sealed. It’s difffrent from everything else in the marketplace.
bc: How would you sum up this campaign overall?
Chia: It’s a $30-million integrated campaign and will run throughout the year; the ads will be on primetime as well as all cable networks, garnering 4.3 billion impressions.
bc: How do you look at the branding and marketing and product limits that naturally occur around a product with this specific set of attributes?
Chia: We are looking into new product innovations as well as lifestyle and other usage occasions. The product is so unique and it is untouched, so we really don’t want to change the core product itself. But we’re really looking at product innovations for the future—packaging, as well as other usage occasions such as fitness.
Below, watch the other Fiji Water commercials along with a new video for its existing sustainability campaign, partnering with Conservation International to project Fiji’s natural resources and rainforest: