Zico connects Facebook pledge to a healthy and charitable lifestyle

The Offer: Zico brand coconut water’s latest campaign features NBA star Kevin Garnett and allows consumers to pledge, through Facebook, to live a more natural lifestyle. It offers to give away Zico to one lucky fan each day, but also to make a donation to the Challenged Athletes Foundation for each pledge. 

The Data: To download the Facebook application, users must allow Zico access to basic information and pictures. Upon pledging, a user’s statement becomes their profile status, and Zico posts a video to their profile that incorporates both Garnett and the user’s own photos. ?

The Channel: The campaign lives on Facebook, but it is also prominently advertised on Zico’s website. Garnett’s massive 6’11” frame fills both the website and the Facebook page. The digital campaign is an extension of the word-of-mouth efforts, such as sampling at road races, that Zico relies on to spread the word about its product, said Bill Lange, VP of marketing at Zico.?

The Creative: Zico worked with independent creative agency Ignited on the campaign. Celtics player Kevin Garnett became a Zico spokesperson at the beginning of 2011, after his contract with Gatorade ended, said Lange. The creative matches the color of the drink’s packaging. It uses athletes like Garnett and others to demonstrate the benefits of natural products as part of a healthy lifestyle. ?


Ben Sutherland is global head of direct at media agency MindShare, part of WPP’s GroupM. He works across Mindshare’s client portfolio to develop more accountable CRM strategies for brands worldwide. He was previously media director at Rapp. Sutherland is based in London. 

Competing with a giant like Gatorade is never going to be easy. You’ve got to love the ability of social media and the right endorsement to give a largely unknown brand like Zico a shot. To a North American audience, working with Kevin Garnett is a great draw. The pledge mechanic is tried and tested and helps frequency of purchase. It might be worth investing a bit more in media coverage as there’s an audience in middle-aged overweight ex-athletes in the media industry.?

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