Evian’s Viral Campaign and its Return to Relevance

If you’ve been alive the last few years, you’ve probably seen a commercial or online video from Evian’s ‘Live Young’ campaign which features rollerblading and dancing babies. The first spot launched four years ago as Evian stepped up to compete with leading brands Fiji and Smartwater.

Both a U.S. and international version of the commercial appear on the company’s YouTube page. Combined they have over 88 million views and 2.4 million social shares. In fact, it was so successful Guinness Book of World Records officially declared Roller Babies as the most viewed online ad in 2009.

The second spot, released three months ago, quickly went viral earning almost 59 million views and over 3 million social shares.

The ‘Live Young’ campaign is extremely popular and has generated broad brand awareness for the company. These videos reintroduced Evian to consumers around the world after a decade of “quietish” marketing. Even though shares have now shifted to Evian, placing them at No. 3 behind Fiji and Smartwater, the company is still pushing for relevance in the American market.

In order to accomplish this, Eric O’Toole, president-GM at Danone Waters North America which imports and markets Evian, is making some changes. His first step: hiring a VP-marketing for Danone’s water brands in North America. Given the proper attention and investment, O’Toole believes Evian’s sales could double or even triple in the next five years. As of now, the company only controls 12% of the U.S. premium bottled water market, though it’s established as a leader internationally.

Annually, Evian spends $1 million on measured media; this amount will increase as the brand grows says O’Toole. Marketing is essential for Evian as it aims to shift market shares away from top competitors. Currently, Evian works with BETC, Paris on creative and Havas on media.

With these viral videos and a renewed marketing force, Evian has kick-started its return to relevance. If the company continues to produce high-quality, entertaining marketing material, it may surpass Fiji and Smartwater positioning itself as a leader in the bottled water and advertising world.

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