“Drink Up” campaign not only boosts sales of bottled water, but entertains New Yorkers with a talking fountain

Drink Up, a U.S. nationwide initiative encouraging Americans to drink more water, has now stepped into a «gamification» phase. The campaign, launched in September 2013 by the non-profit The Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA), has involved two New York ad agencies —Y&R and VML—to develop a .. talking fountain that activates when a drinker’s lips touch the water.

The collective of interactive designers YesYesNo has built and installed the Drink Up fountain with drinking water in NYC’s Brooklyn Bridge Park. The installation’s mechanism was enabled by Arduino, MaKey MaKey and Raspberry Pi devices. As unsuspecting passers-by pushed the button, bowed their head and touched the water with their lips, the circuit completed and triggered the technology that activated the hidden speakers. Predictably enough, the fountain spouted some greetings and friendly statements encouraging people to continue drinking more. The video below taken on hidden cameras show the reaction of unsuspecting individuals.

Launched about a year ago, the Drink Up campaign has united more than 60 water businesses, and engaged hundreds of millions of people through social media (with hashtags #spreadthewater and #drinkH2O), advertising of the message «you are what you drink», themed events and celebrity ambassadors—as famed as America’s First Lady Michelle Obama.

According to Nielsen Catalina Solutions (NCS), the successful online campaign by Drink Up triggered 3% lift in sales of bottled water, which equates to almost $1 million. The survey was conducted for a 16-week period between Sept. 12, 2013, and Dec. 31, 2013, with the start of the Drink Up campaign.

Creative Credits:

Y&R and VML, New York
Jim Elliott, Chief Creative Officer, Y&R New York
Mike Wente, Executive Creative Director, VML New York
Suzana Apelbaum, Group Creative Director, VML New York
Bruce Jacobson, Creative Director, Y&R New York
Alan Vladusic, Creative Director, Y&R New York
Harsh Kapadia, Senior Art Director, VML New York
Guilherme Pena Costa, Creative Technologist, VML New York
Alice Thomas, Senior Copywriter, VML New York
Letitia Jacobs, Executive Director of Content Production, Y&R/VML New York
Stacy Kallan, Director of Business Affairs Content Production, Y&R New York
Amanda McCroskery, Digital Producer, Y&R New York
Craig Sklaver, Content Producer, Y&R New York
Jenny Lee, Content Producer, Y&R New York
Amy Saunders, Director of Post Production, Y&R New York