- Diageo this week launched a campaign on Instagram featuring an augmented reality (AR) filter to promote water sustainability. The marketer of alcohol brands such as Johnnie Walker, Smirnoff and Guinness is urging people to moderate their alcohol intake during the holidays by swapping an alcoholic drink with water as part of its "The Balance Challenge," according to an announcement emailed to Mobile Marketer.
- To demonstrate the importance of balance, the AR filter challenges mobile users to match a series of on-screen poses and balance a virtual image of a water container on various parts of their bodies. People can participate in the #TheBalanceChallenge by tapping on the effects icon in Instagram and searching for "The Balance Challenge."
- Diageo also is giving people a way to donate to WaterAid, a non-governmental organization focused on water, sanitation and hygiene. By tapping on Instagram's donate sticker, app users can donate the cost of an alcoholic drink or additional funds to the organization, per Diageo.
As the holiday giving season gets underway, Diageo aims to engage mobile users with an immersive AR experience that not only urges them to practice moderation, but also to support a worthy cause. Amid the increase in social media usage during the pandemic, Diageo can reach its target audience of young adults who rely on apps like Instagram to stay connected with others and who tend to favor brands that support social causes like sustainability.
By urging people to participate in "The Balance Challenge" and share their pictures with other Instagram users, Diageo can extend the campaign's reach. AR content is popular on social media apps with more people using features like Instagram filters, Snapchat lenses, Facebook camera effects and Pinterest try-ons. While Diageo's campaign is global in scope, the number of U.S. consumers who use AR effects on social media this year will grow 14% to 43.7 million, or 13% of the general population, 15% of internet users and 21% of social media users, eMarketer predicts. The researcher forecast that AR users on social networks will continue to grow to 46.9 million next year and 48.3 million by 2022. Brands including Dior, GameStop, HBO, L'Oréal and Verizon have used AR technology in their recent campaigns to engage mobile consumers.
"The Balance Challenge" comes a week after Diageo announced its 10-year sustainability action plan called "Society 2030: Spirit of Progress." A key goal of the plan is to reach more than a billion people with branded messages of moderation by 2030. Diageo also seeks to achieve net-zero carbon emissions among its operations, to increase representation of company leaders from ethnically diverse backgrounds to 45%, and use 30% less water in making beverages, per an announcement.
Those goals are likely to appeal to younger adults, with almost two-thirds (62%) of Gen Zers saying they prefer to buy from sustainable brands, a level that's about equal with millennials, according to a study by First Insight. The researcher also found that 73% of Gen Zers and 68% of millennials are willing to pay more for sustainable brands, making support for environmental causes a significant way for brands to build loyalty with younger consumers.
Diageo's campaign comes as alcohol sales outside of bars and restaurants have risen 24% during the pandemic, while beverages with higher alcohol content like distilled spirits have increased 27% from a year earlier, per Nielsen data cited by NPR. Those sales are likely to remain elevated during the holiday season as people spend more time at home celebrating with family and friends instead of going out.