Daily Insights

Spirit of Sustainability

By: Mackenzie Baker | Dec 11, 2020

Spirits brand Diageo turns to Instagram to encourage water sustainability. The brand behind labels like Johnnie Walker, Smirnoff, and Guinness created a new AR filter to teach consumers about water conservation—and to remind them to sip on water while enjoying their spirits. 

Diageo’s new campaign conjunctly encourages consumers to conserve water while upping their own intake. Consumers can participate in “The Balance Challenge” on Instagram, where Diageo’s AR filter gives users a variety of poses to replicate while “balancing” a virtual pail of water. Users are challenged to not spill any of the virtual water and can share their results with friends and followers using the hashtag #TheBalanceChallenge. The challenge aims to raise awareness about water conservation efforts from Diageo and includes a donation button and campaign stickers for users to add to their posts and Stories. The donation button is linked to WaterAid, Diageo’s campaign partner which helps bring water, sanitation, and hygiene products to those in need around the world. The charitable aspect of the campaign could spur user participation on social media, as 73% of consumers are willing to engage or frequent a brand if they know some of their money goes to a good cause. 

Diageo’s global campaign arrives during a surge in charitable giving and social media usage, thanks in part to the holiday season and ongoing Coronavirus pandemic. Connecting with consumers on a platform where they are spending a lot of time and over a cause they can sympathize with could help Diageo increase engagement rates and boost brand awareness. Additionally, The Balance Challenge could help Diageo interact with a wider audience of younger and socially conscious consumers who are leaning into brands giving back during a rough year. With 62% of Gen Zers favoring brands prioritizing sustainability, making its environmental commitments known could help Diageo brand build loyalty with young consumers, according to a Gartner report. The campaign arrives shortly after Diageo’s launch of “Society 2030: Spirit of Progress”, its 10-year sustainability action plan. By kicking off the decade-long initiative with its AR Instagram campaign, Diageo could build up its presence as an eco-conscious company and lead more social media users to learn about its detailed drive. 

At-home alcohol sales have surged 24% during the Coronavirus pandemic, so reaching homebound consumers via Instagram could help Diageo sustain and surpass those sales. By tying water conservation and drinking more water together for its large-scale digital campaign, the spirits brand could also elevate its image and stand out against cocktail competitors.