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Think Up: Activating Information to Encourage Healthier Choices
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Think Up: Activating Information to Encourage Healthier Choices

How much water have you had today?

By the time you’re done reading this article, you might want to have a glass. Not only will you be healthier for it, you’ll help kick off a new public health campaign that begins today with an event in Watertown, Wis. hosted by first lady Michelle Obama.

The “Water: You Are What You Drink” campaign, launched by the Partnership for a Healthier America working hand-in-hand with Nielsen and the White House, is unique for many reasons, but stands out from other public health initiatives in one significant way: it’s the first to be informed by consumer insight from beginning to end. We studied everything from water consumption trends to health perspectives to media preferences, and used that information to drive the campaign’s strategy, messaging and execution.

The campaign goal is simple: encourage people to drink more water. The crafting of the premise, positioning and execution, however, was fairly complex, but the end result will be worth it. We believe governments everywhere can – and should – use private sector marketing techniques to craft a focused message and make sure it reaches the right audience.

The approach: Help the White House and the PHA identify the most receptive audience, engage them through the right touchpoints and activate a successful campaign.

The audience: Consumers with an “on-the-fence” predisposition about healthy living who could be nudged to the healthier side of the fence when presented with the right information.

The message: “Drink Up.”

The human body is about 60 percent water. So what better way to recharge, refuel and reinvigorate? While we’re all fairly aware of the benefits of drinking more water, identifying which consumers would be most interested in learning more and willing to take a step toward a healthier living stands to make all of the difference when it comes to results. Cause marketing isn’t easy, especially when the cause is public health, but using a wealth of consumer data to drive a campaign from beginning to end using energetic and positive messaging will likely generate results that are as atypical as the campaign itself.

And in looking at general water consumption trends across the U.S., it’s clear that we could all stand to learn a little more.

We believe this type of approach could lead to a new standard for public health campaigns. We certainly think an information-driven approach with a positive message is a refreshing idea.

In the next installment of this series, we’ll reveal the secrets behind the research, and our final article will announce the results. In the meantime, keep an eye out for the PSA and the marketing campaign, and Drink Up!