Posted by Charles Lloyd on February 28, 2017
‘Fit’ is a big buzzword in advertising. From finding staff that fit in with company culture to selecting an agency that meshes with the ethos of your brand, fit is everything. Fit proves to be just as important when it comes to corporate social responsibility partnerships. Aldi supports the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds with proceeds from the sales of its carrier bags, the IKEA Foundation partners with Save the Children & UNHCR and it’s hard to remember a Race for Life event that Tesco didn’t sponsor. These are among the most high profile match-ups and prove that when partnerships work, they work really well. Access to new audiences, the ability to promote initiatives across multiple outlets and cobranding opportunities are just a few bonuses for both brand and charity. Stella Artois hopes its latest charity tie-up will achieve all this and raise its social responsibility street cred.
Stella Artois has brought back its 'Buy a Lady a Drink' campaign in partnership with water.org, a charity bringing water and sanitation to the developing world. For a third consecutive year, AB InBev will sell limited edition Stella Artois chalices with proceeds supporting five years of clean water for one person. Chalices feature a bespoke piece of art from a local artist in Brazil, Cambodia or Uganda. New for this year, the company will also donate six months of clean water to someone in the developing world with each limited-edition multipack sold, and one month of clean water for every bottle sold in pubs.
Ads spanning TV, cinema and social media run with the strapline, ‘Be the generation to help end the global water crisis’. The first of two ads shows special edition Stella Artois chalices sporting animated women pouring clean water while the second features the story of a Kenyan woman, Elizabeth. Speaking in her native language, Elizabeth tells of her four-hour round trip journey to a stream where she used to collect water. Now, with the help of water.org, Elizabeth’s village has access to a local tap and Elizabeth is able to use her new found free time to pursue a career as an entrepreneur. Actor and water.org co-founder Matt Damon provides the voice-over for both Mother ads.
The campaign will do wonders to boost Stella Artois’ bottom line. With the use of case studies such as Elizabeth’s, the creative will trigger an emotional reaction in consumers, whether viewers are beer fans or not is unlikely to factor into this reaction. The beer brand has successfully appealed to new consumers unlikely to pay attention if the ad were solely focused on the product. The simple reason for this is: who doesn’t want their regular shop to do good at the same time? A survey from the Better Business Journey found that 88% of consumers where more likely to buy from a company that engages in activities to improve society.
The partnership has proved to be a long-term sustainable investment for both AB InBev and water.org, making it likely to produce more tangible results than a one-off event. Water.org benefits from the added publicity of Stella’s on-pack splashes thus enabling it to reach a larger audience. The longevity of the partnership resonates with consumers because it has passed the point of being a publicity stunt concocted for good PR. According to Marketing Week, last year’s activity received 40.5 million impressions in the UK proving that the partnership is a good fit for both parties. Further engagement is also encouraged through the sale of limited edition chalices updated annually with art work from different countries. These provide variety and encourage collecting at a £9 price point on Amazon.
The partnership aims to reach 3.5 million people by 2020 and if it remains on the same trajectory, adding little changes to the original idea, it is sure to reach this worthy target. The 30-second TV ad will run for four weeks while a 60-second cinema ad will run for five and a half weeks.
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By Kristi Kotow, Content Researcher