Bottled water replaced soda this year as America’s most popular thirst-quencher, and advertisers are paying attention. During this year’s Super Bowl in February, PepsiCo didn’t push its namesake soda to the game’s 111.3 million viewers, instead promoting its new premium water brand Lifewtr. Other major companies including Poland Spring and Nestlé have also launched new campaigns to push their water lines.
But despite their readiness to advertise, many water brands stumble when it comes to digital, even those owned by global conglomerates. As a category, water brands have the second-lowest rank in L2’s Digital IQ Index: Beverages, trailed only by soft drinks. Few brands earn spots above the Challenged category, typified by Dasani, whose recent promotions failed to significantly boost its Instagram follower count, and Evian, which lacks a mobile-optimized site.
Some major water brands score even lower, earning spots in the Feeble category. For example, Crystal Geyser’s Instagram account has less than 500 followers, and the brand has also neglected to invest in building its Facebook presence. Its #ThereIsADifference Facebook campaign earned just five interactions per post, indicating a lack of investment in the pay-to-play social platform. As manufacturers seek to push bottled waters, their digital presence suggests that they still have work to do.