Danone: Danone Partnered with Influencers to Make Hydration Fun


Campaign Summary

AQUA, Indonesia's No.1 bottled water brand is the market share leader in this category. However, this market leadership is heavily challenged with the onslaught of pandemic and new players on the shelf. To maintain its stronghold in the category, AQUA needed to grow by 10 percent sales and maintain 45 percent market share during the most opportune season in Indonesia, the holy month of Ramadan.



The beverage category was extremely cluttered. Share of stomach has been cannibalized by carbonated drinks and new entrants of healthy drinks. Sugary drinks and flavored drinks have been enticing new experiences to Indonesians. Share of voice has also been eroded with new players like Le Minerale, gaining traction on new channels like TikTok. Share of pocket has also been under pressure as consumers have been pulling back on spending.

Danone needed to reinforce brand saliency of AQUA and remind the audience that drinking water is a healthy habit especially during peak season of Ramadan.

Target Audience:

AQUA wanted to expand its target audience beyond just the active lifestyle and sports segment. If Danone wanted to maintain its stronghold of the bottled water segment, the company needed to attract a new breed of audience that will future proof our business in Indonesia.

Instead of a one size fits all approach, Danone identified a key growth segment that drives AQUA's majority share of purchase, gen Z and millennials. They command 62 percent of Indonesia's population and will place AQUA on a strong foothold for the future market.

However, communicating bottled water and hydration to them won't be easy. As their mobile habits are dispersed, Danone identified their main channel of choice: TikTok. Spending at least four hours on mobile phones and with 80 percent of its users dominated by gen Z and millennials, this was the main battlefield for attention.

Danone knew that they were the "TikTok generation," spending at least four hours on mobile and making Indonesia as Southeast Asia's hashtag capital for videos. A generation most thirsty for novel experiences, they are certified foodies, travel nomads, and entertainment junkies.

Danone needed to speak the same language. Ramadan is also the peak season when this generation reconnects with their loved ones. Their new BFF's, TikTok and Instagram, became their handy network to share their preparation for Ramadan with their peers. Traditionally, they consume sugary drinks right after breaking the fast. Danone knew it needed to catch them during opportune moments and disrupt their habits.

Creative Strategy:

Talking about water is boring but talking about the benefits of hydration in relation to fun lifestyle activities isn't. Danone knew that gen Z and millennials spoke in hashtags and used TikTok as their new currency for connection.

The only way for them to discover the benefits of hydration is to seamlessly integrate AQUA at every trending moment and every trending topic that mattered to them, organically nudging them to hydrate and drink water right before their activities. It needed to look seamless and fun.

Danone connected with them through tech and data. Using its proprietary technology INCAtech, the company identified the key moments that needed for the brand to be present during Ramadan, which included buka puasa or breaking the fast, iftar or the first meal during breaking the fast, sahur or the last meal before fasting, and Mudik or end of Ramadan holidays.

Danone talked with them through influencers and hashtags. To make it look "viral," and penetrate these key Ramadan moments, Danone identified top #hashtag conversations that mattered the most for them and created unexpected integration within key relevant categories on TikTok such as #Travel, #Food, Lifestyle, #Entertainment. These key affinities were matched with the key moments during Ramadan.

Danone created an army of influencers that aimed to wash out competition on TikTok and remind the gen Z and millennials about the importance of hydration in relation to their lifestyle.


This was the first time Danone used data-driven approach using INCATech, its proprietary AI-based platform:

  • To define the right levels of impression to win on Ramadan
  • To identify the right trending topics on TikTok to disrupt the interest of the younger audience
  • To define the right influencer who will most resonate to young gen Z and millennial

In previous years, AQUA targeted all Indonesian audience segments. This year, Danone focused specifically on the younger segment as the key source for growth. Danone also veered away from traditional branded content storytelling. The company needed organic influencer content to seamlessly integrate the AQUA messaging on the importance of hydration.


Overall Campaign Execution:

Hydration reminders need to be fun. To entice and challenge influencers and fans, Danone created #AquaDulu bumpers ("Drink Aqua first").

The intention is that influencers suddenly stop midway with whatever they're doing, and pops open a bottle of AQUA. A sea of travel, foodie, entertainment, and lifestyle influencers became instant bumpers and TikTok reminders during key Ramadan moments. The goal was to wash over all relevant topics on TikTok and create seamless hydration reminders to unexpecting fans. Danone matched the affinities within key moments such as Buka Puasa for #Food and Mudik for #Travel.

Imagine a fan intensely watching a food recipe for Ramadan then suddenly stops to open a bottle of water. Danone challenged travel influencers to share their drool-worthy travel plans for Ramadan but midway they stop to pop open a bottle of AQUA.

Danone allowed the influencers to be as spontaneous as possible when to insert #AquaDulu in their videos. The more unexpected, the more viral it went.

Mobile Execution:

Danone created share of voice forecasting through INCAtech to set the right level of impressions needed to go 'viral' on TikTok's #ForYouPage.

Using proprietary technology, Danone measured how much was the investment level of competition, Le Minerale, during Ramadan. Danone identified the key occasions and interests they were present in.

Danone also created audience personas to identify how to cluster key messaging on TikTok and which segments would match the right moment.

Danone optimized the performance of its TikTok influencers by identifying which content are best performing and allocated 10 percent of its influencer budget to boost these creator content as ads for AQUA.

Business Impact (including context, evaluation, and market impact)

AQUA's market share was leaking, eroded by a challenger brand like Le Minerale.

Le Minerale was aggressively growing its total sales value by 35 percent while AQUA was only growing by 3 percent. On value shares, there was an aggressive growth of Le Minerale from 2020 to 2021 at 3 percent point while AQUA had an alarming -3 percent point decline.

This decline was across all formats of bottles from large to single cup use.

Danone exceeded its goal by overdelivering 50 percent market share during Ramadan, the highest market share. Danone also overdelivered from 10 percent volume share target to a whopping 17 percent volume share growth.

With just 100 influencers, digital share of voice skyrocketed to a whopping 90 percent SOV versus competition's 10 percent delivery.

Danone became a top trending topic on TikTok garnering 1.2 billion views and 7 million engagements in just one month — a feat no bottled water brand was able to garner. Danone became a staple in TikTok's For You Page, a proof that #AquaDulu became a true viral topic for the fans.

#AquaDulu became the trending topic for three months in TikTok at 1.2 billion views — the highest performance for Aqua. Danone has improved the cost per impression by 74 percent. AQUA regained its market share leadership and became the benchmark for bottled water category.

Categories: | Industries: | Objectives: Social Media Marketing | Awards: X Global Finalist