Primo Turns Its Target Away From Tap Water

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Primo Turns Its Target Away From Tap Water

By Neal Lorenzi - 11/27/2018

Winston-Salem, N.C. — Just how safe is it to drink tap water? That is the question posed by Primo Water in its Seedy Joints marketing campaign, which asks consumers to consider their options when it comes to procuring drinking water.

The goal of the campaign is to get people to think through all their choices, says Matt Sheehan, Primo CEO. “We don’t want consumers to just drink more water – we want them to drink better water. The perception that ‘our tap water is fine’ is something that I, personally, and Primo, as a company, hope to change.”

With that goal in mind, the company, which sells water dispensers and bulk water solutions, launched a campaign based on signage with new dispenser packaging, 3-D in-store signage and omnichannel messaging in its 7,500 retail locations. The campaign’s primary target is young people, especially those who are male and earn a higher income.

The company’s market testing found that consumers are more confident in bulk water (as opposed to tap water) to provide the quality of water they want. “This was a huge insight for us at Primo,” says Ged King, chief executive officer of SFW Agency, which worked with Primo Water on the campaign. “Our challenge with this campaign is focused on pushing consumers to consider multi-gallon water and dispensers as an alternative to tap.”

Based on insights from customer research, Primo Water developed different versions of new signage for Primo exchange racks and bottle return centers. Using receptivity testing, it chose the three best options and installed them in retail stores. The displays call attention to the current state of infrastructure and makes consumers stop and think about how tap water might travel to their homes.

“Using market testing with two test periods before launch, we found that the Seedy Joints signage ‘crushed it’ in both initial purchase performance and led to the highest percent lift in exchange water,” says Chad Alger-Hardt, Primo vice president of sales.

Greensboro, North Carolina-based SFW Agency worked with Primo on the Seedy Joints signage, a 30-second TV spot and a new dispenser packaging design. The campaign also is being executed across digital, TV, radio, direct mail and out-of-home advertising. “We had a campaign that we and Primo are really proud of,” King says.

Seedy Joints signage was unveiled on a regional basis in November 2017, which drove double-digit growth leading to a greater than 30% return on investment. As a result, the company rolled out the program nationally in spring 2018.

Primo measured the success of the campaign by comparing units sold per week in each of the test markets to units sold per week in the control market, according to Alger-Hardt. “The impact associated with the Seedy Joints campaign saw enough percentage lift to see an ROI and clearly provided a rationale for expanding the program.”

  • BRAND: Primo Water

  • KEY INSIGHT: The target market of young men who earn a high income is insecure about the quality of tap water. If you get them to think through their choices, their perceptions of “our tap water is fine” can be changed.

  • ACTIVATION: An integrated campaign included creative signage in stores, new packaging and omnichannel messaging in 7,500 retail locations.

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