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Smartwater taps SNL’s Pete Davidson for post-July 4 hydration campaign

Bottled water brand Smartwater has teamed with Saturday Night Live darling Pete Davidson to bring much-needed post-Independence Day hydration to Americans everywhere – beginning with two events in New York and California.

Vapor-distilled water brand Glacéau Smartwater today unveiled a new omnichannel campaign in conjunction with comedian, SNL star, writer and producer Pete Davidson, which kicks off with two IRL activations to help Americans rehydrate after a weekend of celebrating.

This Independence Day spelled true freedom for many Americans – with Covid restrictions lifting left, right and center, there was no shortage of socialization and fun to be had. And today, Smartwater thinks many of us could be, well, feeling the aftermath. That’s why the brand has dubbed July 5 ‘Rehydration Day’, which it’s honoring with pop-up events at Santa Monica Pier in Los Angeles and Jones Beach in Long Island, New York. Today at both locations, the brand will make Smartwater-filled kegs – christened ‘smartkegs’ – available to the public. The activations will also include visual displays, photo ops and other activities.

Today’s pop-up events serve as a launch for a larger campaign meant to encourage consumers to ‘make smarter choices’. The initiative builds on the brand’s existing ‘Keep living smart’ platform, by which the company encourages us all to make smart decisions every day.

“Let’s be honest – this summer is a wild one, and I’m here for it,” Davidson said in a statement. “But I’m also going to keep living smart and staying hydrated, making my pee as clear as possible on Rehydration Day, and you should too.”

The campaign’s hero film also debuts today. It opens on a scene of Davidson in a tattoo removal studio. “I’ve made a lot of questionable choices,” he says, as a technician zaps away at his arm. Davidson reflects back on some of these decisions – ranging from living in his mom’s basement until his late twenties to hoverboarding rather than walking through a fine dining establishment.

While the spot is humorous, it’s an obvious nod to Davidson’s real life. The comedian recently opened up on Late Night with Seth Meyers about getting a number of his 40-plus tattoos removed. He has also spoken openly about his sobriety and his desire to make healthy choices. Ulises Ramírez, group director of the hydration portfolio at The Coca-Cola Company’s North America operating unit, said in a statement that Davidson is a fitting face of the new campaign because he’s “a good-humored, great-natured, stand-up guy who’s just trying to learn from his past and keep living smarter”.

And though the campaign is billed as an effort to encourage consumers to live healthier lives, it probably won’t harm the Coca-Cola-owned company either. “The premium water category is more attractive than ever before – growing in both consumption and occasion,” Ramírez said in the statement. And the numbers support his assessment: according to a report published last year, the global bottled water market was worth an estimated $230bn in 2019 and expected to hit $400bn by 2026.

“Consumers expect more from the brands that comprise [the premium water category]: more function, more enjoyment and more heart,” continued Ramírez. “So we’ve challenged ourselves to redefine what Smartwater stands for in a refreshingly relatable way, and we’re putting a stake in the ground as a brand that encourages and enables you to live a little bit smarter.”

Davidson joins Smartwater’s line-up of celebrity spokespeople, which includes Jennifer Aniston and, more recently, Gal Gadot.

The campaign kicks off today and will be further activated this month with spots on broadcast TV, social media, digital and audio.

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