It is Super Bowl Commercial Season once again, everybody. I know, I know, time has flown by so fast, and it's hard to imagine anything topping the double-whammy of Beyonce's 2016 halftime performance and her Formation World Tour Super Bowl commercial. But alas, this February, Beyonce must now focus on the formation (I'm sorry) of the beautiful twin fetuses inside her body, so we must look ahead to the 2017 Super Bowl commercials. So far, we've got Adam Driver going live for Snickers, Budweiser highlighting the importance of immigrants, the Super Bowl's first-ever hair care commercial, and, now a very colorful Pepsi ad for a new product called LIFEWTR. But, what, you may be asking, is Pepsi's LIFEWTR?
According to Fortune, PepsiCo is moving into the "premium water" business with LIFEWTR, a "purified water that is pH balanced with electrolytes," that they plan to debut in a 30-second ad during the Super Bowl. Bottle water sales, Fortune reports, have more than doubled since 2004, and while PepsiCo already owns bottled-water company Aquafina, president of PepsiCo's Global Beverage Group Brad Jakeman noted that "a premium water segment of the water category, driven heavily by millennials," has developed in recent years.
As for what it is about LIFEWTR that sets it apart from other "premium-branded" bottled waters such as the Coca-Cola-owned Smartwater, according to Seth Kaufman, chief marketing officer of PepsiCo North America Beverages, it's the label. LIFEWTR bottle labels will feature a rotating series of creative, exclusive designs done by emerging visual artists, and you can even check out the artists of Series 1, Jason Woodside, Craig & Karl, and MOMO, on the LifeWTR website now. (I haven't seen any discussion about whether the subsequent series will feature more diverse artists.)
On February 1, US Magazine premiered a 60-second version of the LIFEWTR ad, called "Inspiration Drops." The spot features the striking and colorful art of the Series 1 artists coming to life as raindrops fall to the sound of a specially recorded version of John Legend's hit “Love Me Now.”
A 30-second version of the ad will be airing during the 2017 Super Bowl, and that shortened commercial won't be cheap. Forbes reports that Fox is selling 30-second ads during the 2017 Super Bowl for a whopping $5.5 million dollars, nearly double the cost of a 2010 Super Bowl ad of the same length.
Still, to the folks at Pepsi, that may be considered a bargain. After all, Jakeman told Fortune that he hoped LIFEWTR would eventually earn a billion dollars in sales annually. It remains to be seen whether the bottled water's creative marketing scheme will make a splash at the Super Bowl this year, but the "premium" bottled water section at the grocery store is definitely set to get more crowded — and more colorful.