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Brita Filter for Good

January 22, 2009

I think Brita water is on to something with Filter for Good. They have merged social consciousness and sustainability with messaging that repositions their competition as much as it repositions Brita. They’ve taken on bottled water with the simple, relevant message that bottled water is bad for the environment.  So get a Brita filter and green reusable bottle and Drink Responsibly.  Pass it on by joining the Filter for Good movement.  And so forth.

 

On the Transactional Branding side, they are offering coupons if you log on and take a pledge.  What I love about the pledge/coupon alignment is that it asks you to change your mind and take an action that creates psychological commitment — the pledge — while at the same time moving you one step closer to purchasing the product with the coupon. 

On the advocacy side, they have aligned the badge effect of a bright green reusable bottle in real life with social media badges like showing your support on Facebook or e-mailing your friends. 

On the buzz and relevance side, they have a big promotion at the Sundance Film Festival giving out 50,000 free bottles and providing Brita hydration stations.  Celebrity influencers with green cred walking around pristine Sundance for a week with branded bottles full of filtered water topped up at branded hydration tents.  Nice.  And on the other end of the culture spectrum, they’ve got something going with The Biggest Loser to promote the health benefits of drinking water. 

On the 1:1 mantra of “It’s the List, Stupid” they’re capturing addresses with the pledge’s e-mail opt in.  You get a coupon and a chance to challenge your friends to take the pledge.  Watch the movement take off with a real-time map of where people are taking the pledge.

And as Tim would say, simpler is always better.  The message is simple:  bottles are bad for the environment.  Brita is making it easy to have a big environmental impact with very little effort. 

I only found one hitch in their getalong.  They walked right up to the edge of “green washing” with the effort.  The filter and bottles are plastic … so they had to scramble to get on the right side of hard core environmentalists who would just as soon have everyone skip all of the plastic, grab a glass and drink from the tap.  For the branding effort to be credible, they had to put a corporate recycling program for their pitchers in place.  For the audience they’re going for, I think they are green enough.  We’ll see what consumers decide.

This is a very nice 360 branding effort.  The strategy is smart, going right at the competition through the door of consumer interest in sustainability with a competitive product benefit.  And it’s very extendable.   Results remain to be seen, but win or lose, I give them a lot of credit for the strategy and  execution.

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