Buy A Lady A Drink: Stella Artois & Water.org
In 2015, Stella Artois experienced a slowdown in brand sales along with the whole beer category and realized consumer understanding of “premium” was changing. Through research they discovered that “elite and sophisticated” was giving way to “accessible, authentic and purpose-driven.”
The team sought to support a cause that aligned with their brand and business model, and supported parent company AB InBev’s Better World corporate responsibility initiatives in water stewardship.
Water has been integral to Stella Artois’ 600-year brewing heritage, and a key ingredient in their product, their operations, and the communities where their employees live and work. Yet millions around the world are living without it. Stella Artois set out to help change this, and engaged Water.org to help make their vision a reality.
In a clever play to unite the product with the problem the partners created “Buy a Lady a Drink,” in 2015, a global multi-platform campaign that called on consumers to help end the global water crisis. The partnership was unlikely, but the message was clear: help stop these water collection journeys, so women could start new ones of their own.
In 2018, it was time to Supersize the partnership and build upon its many years of success.
Stella Artois and Water.org created their first-ever co-branded Super Bowl spot—positioning the cause front and center to reach more than 100M viewers in a single day.
Consumers were invited to stock up for the Big Game with new Limited-Edition Chalices, new co-branded 12-packs and 6-packs featuring the campaign artwork, and bottles or pints at bars and restaurants — all triggering donations to Water.org.
On Friday of Super Bowl weekend, the partners also launched “Wait for Water,” an emotive digital video capturing an original social experiment that forced consumers in 3 countries (U.S., U.K. + Argentina) to imagine what life would be like without access to clean water.
On World Water Day, they launched an interactive installation at Grand Central in NYC showcasing the far-reaching impact that one person can have by providing access to clean water for someone in need and hosted a panel discussion and Water.org retrospective featuring Water.org co-founders Matt Damon and Gary White along with esteemed journalist Tamara Hall.
In addition to billions of media impressions and millions of earned social impressions, more than a million Limited-Edition Chalices were sold. The campaign also delivered for the Stella Artois brand — significantly increasing brand perception, purchase intent and product sales. The campaign is now a lead global brand pillar for Stella Artois, and a lead contributor to AB In Bev’s Better World water stewardship initiative.
Thanks to the collective power of this unique partnership, as of January 2019, Stella Artois has helped provide access to water for more than 1.7 million people in the developing world.
Direct funding from Stella Artois, along with donations from chalice and product sales, has contributed more than $21 million to Water.org to date — fueling organizational growth, catalyzing capital funding in microloans to those who need water access, and expanding its work to two new markets, Brazil and Mexico.
The campaign’s global reach, influencer engagement and premium positioning across multiple channels has exponentially increased awareness of the cause and the Water.org brand. The Super Bowl spot alone brought nearly 240,000 visitors to Water.org, resulting in an additional $100,000 in direct donations in the hours following airtime.