SodaStream reveals why ‘disruptive’ influencer campaigns are vital to reaching new audiences

Social media strategy tailors content to reach ‘sinks, dinks and millennials’, says marketing chief

Israeli drinks company, SodaStream, is beefing up its video presence and social media play in the wake of successful influencer marketing campaigns including ‘Join a Revolution’ featuring ‘The Mountain’ from the Game of Thrones.

Its most recent effort used Game of Thrones actor, Thor Bjornson, to help recruit top influencer talent for SodaStream and was aimed at helping the business further significant growth globally.  

The goal is to reach out to new demographics including the 'sinks and dinks' (single income/double income no kids) category and millennial audiences. It's also about communicating the message of sustainability, health and wellness, SodaStream Australia marketing director, Laura Wilson, told CMO.  

“We traditionally used to target the families market, but realised through our sales data that increasingly the sinks and dinks and millennial audiences were more engaged with our brand and they were where the future is. So our social media strategy has turned to focus our content towards that audience,” she said. 

SodaStream's Laura Wilson
SodaStream's Laura Wilson

The SodaStream Company, which was hatched in 1903, has a long history. Founded by W & A Gilbey, the famous London Gin distiller, its first soda-making apparatus was a big hit with the British upper class, including the royal household.

Wilson said the rollout of videos using influencer marketers like ‘The Mountain’ is a key and distinctly different marketing strategy for 2018. She noted other influencer marketing campaigns taking a similar approach, such as the Scarlett Johansson ‘Sorry Coke and Pepsi’ Super Bowl commercial, as well as the Mayim Bialik of The Big Bang Theories’ ‘‘Homoschelpians’ campaign.

The ‘Join a Revolution’ project recreates a famous scene from Season Five of Game of Thrones and incorporates the SodaStream brand in a funny and inventive way. It's one example of a viral campaign that ideally captures SodaStream’s unique company culture, while targeting the ‘sinks and dinks’ and millennial audiences.

“We do like to do things in a fun, unique and disruptive way to get the message across and we will continue to do that this year,” Wilson said.“It is a very open, challenging, exciting and friendly place where we’re encouraged to be courageous, encouraged to take risks, encouraged to think and be creative. And we wanted to share that with potential recruits across the globe, while showcasing what our culture is in a fun and innovative way."

Using ‘The Mountain’ as a influencer marketer made sense, Wilson said, given Icelandic-born Bjornson is a memorable character and the strongest man in the world at the moment.

"He also has a really good sense of humour and we brought him on-board to help us spread the message. Being a celebrity of his calibre, he is able to assist us in that shareability.”   

The campaign has had more than 50 million views and 100,000 shares to date. “It went crazy. Even our Google trends report saw a massive surge around about that time that we launched that campaign," Wilson said. 

“Our viral campaigns and social media content continue to cater to the interests of that audience such as entertaining, health and wellness, fitness, and cocktails is always a big thing. We make sure whatever content we produce is the kind of content that these audiences want to see.”       

Wilson expected to have other influencer marketers coming on-board this year, although she can’t reveal specific details. For the last two years, the brand has been employing disruptive viral videos as a brand tactic, also working with Maim Biali from the Big Bang Theory and Paris Hilton.

Tailored content

More broadly, content continues to be a massive focus for SodaStream this year, and communicating the brand personality and message in a mixed media approach is the priority using a mix of illustration, photography and animation. Content is featured on the brand's social media platform and used as part of its digital and display activity.

“We stopped and had a look at what the industry was doing and what we needed to do to stand apart and what would fit our personality and our culture in doing that," Wilson said.

In that vein, SodaStream worked with Melbourne-based creative agency, JWT, to produce content that’s different. “We spruiked some of the key brand pillars of our product, including the sustainability and convenience and so forth," she explained. 

“Rather than having these snow-capped mountains and girls in bikinis drinking sparkling water, which is what you see most brands doing, we’ve gone a very different way in serving our content to the audience. And we’ve done that because we know that particular audience really responds well to that mixed media content.

“It’s about us talking about how we are different. We provide a different solution for the modern consumer.”     

Another hot marketing project was the rollout late last year of the ‘mobile interscroller', which serves a certain amount of creatives while customers are reading articles.Wilson said the success of that, a relatively unique approach to advertising, has been huge for the brand. 

Growth strategy

Ultimately, growth is Wilson's biggest marketing strategy this year.

“SodaStream in Australia has had year-on-year growth of between 20 and 30 per cent for the past five or six years, which is phenomenal because we’re considered a mature market in the SodaStream world and we’ve managed to continue to grow here in Australia," she said. 

“I suspect there are many factors but predominantly consumer habits are changing. People are moving towards more health-orientated choices, more eco-orientated choices and our system fits in perfectly with those evolving consumer trends.”

Wilson said the company looks to be different. “Our marketing strategy has always been to do things creatively, to do things differently. We don’t have a huge budget like our counterparts so we look at really different ways to do things." 

Innovation is also part of the overall marketing strategy, Wilson noted. “Every year we continue to better our system and our products.”

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia, or check us out on Google+:google.com/+CmoAu


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