Brita challenges the bottle cap challenge

Who: Brita, DentsuBos and Devon Consulting (influencer and PR).

What: A social driven rebuttal to the #BottleCapChallenge that reinforces Brita’s brand positioning against single-use plastic.

When & Where: The #CapOnPlasticChallenge launched July 20, with a paid influencer post on Instagram. Where it goes is still TBD, dependant as it is on the vagaries of social virality.

Why: This summer’s challenge sensation has many, many people kicking caps off plastic bottles. The core of Brita’s brand platform is about reducing the use of plastic bottles (see a recent TV ad below). “The team [writer Megan Kras and art director Nathan Styles] came to me with the idea,” said DentsuBos executive creative director Travis Cowdy. “This bottle cap challenge is taking off and Brita is going hard against single-use plastic, so they had this idea to disrupt the bottle cap challenge.”

How: An attempt to introduce a new challenge, or at least get people following the #BottleCapChallenge to stop and think about the disposable water bottles that appear in so many of those videos. A new hashtag and challenge lets Brita join the conversation and make a relevant point that connects with the brand positioning. The CapOnPlasticChallenge went from idea to live in about a week.

What is the challenge: Brita provides some suggestions: share the visual it posted to announce the challenge, share a photo of your reusable water bottle, post a video about reducing single-use plastic, or just use the hashtag. “It is up to people how they activate it,” said Cowdy. The larger goal is to get the #CapOnPlastic hashtag into more of the social streams of those who are likely to have seen (or taken part in) the BottleCap challenge.

Media: Not a big spend here at all. This is about coming up with a social-driven idea, building it out, finding a partner (influencer), and getting into market quickly to try and tap into a viral moment. The only paid media so far is an influencer post by popular Canadian Instagrammer TheBirdsPapaya, who published a video to her more than 400,000 followers on July 20. Brita followed up on July 24 with its own post: “#BottleCapChallenge we’re loving the fancy footwork— but the ecological footprint🌎👣? Not so much. It’s time to put a cap on single-use plastic bottles.” “It’s not a sure thing,” said Cowdy of the challenges of trying to spread a brand message in a mostly organic fashion. It’s a quick-fire, low-cost attempt to tap into the social zeitgeist and deliver some brand-related messaging in an authentic manner.

Quote: “We are conditioned to very quickly scroll past ads on Instagram. I think that this kind of messaging is what resonates.” —Travis Cowdy, DenstuBos executive creative director.

David Brown