Drink More…Water

Case Studies 08/02/2022

As the restrictions of the pandemic eased in the summer of 2021, young people seized the opportunity to spend time together again in person. With 18 months of restrictions behind them, young people were ready to reconnect face to face, and the worry was that the return to bars and clubs could fuel wild abandon and excessive drinking.

Encouraging responsible behaviour after such a long period of curtailed social gatherings was never going to be easy. In a pre-emptive strike, Pernod Ricard and the team behind Responsible Party intensified their efforts by commissioning a bold and courageous campaign.

“Drink More… Water” was launched digitally in July 2021, in the UK, Germany, Belgium, Greece, the Netherlands, Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela, Dominican Republic, and Kenya.  

Striking a new note

The striking campaign turns expectations on their head and was designed by award-winning French digital agency Buzzman. Contrary to expectations the video campaign appears to encourage young people to “Drink More” alcohol while showing images of the target audience in potentially dangerous situations after a few too many drinks. As the power of the full message is revealed - “Drink More…Water” - the soundtrack shifts gear, the dance beats grow muffled and everyday sounds of the street grow louder.

The creative’s role at first seems to encourage the unpleasant side of overindulging in alcohol but the revelation instead surprises and delights the Gen Z audience by delivering a serious message. While Pernod Ricard’s team remain fully committed to combatting binge-drinking, they realise talking about these issues can be complex. The Responsible Party programme has been running since 2009, and so exploring new expressions of their key messages help them continue to address key issues without going over old ground.

One of the most exciting parts of this campaign was to challenge traditional health awareness campaign norms. The campaign is an awareness campaign, but it doesn’t look like one. Pernod Ricard’s energy to make a change in this very normative sphere was impressive and such a refreshing and exciting experience.
Aline Bouchez
 Strategic Planner, Buzzman 

Simple, but effective, global message

The campaign reflects Responsible Party’s main driver to persuade young adults that excessive drinking isn’t fun by using an empowering peer to peer message instead of lecturing them on the dangers of overconsumption. Drinking water has always been a core message of Responsible Party as it is one of the ways of reducing harmful drinking and so the trick of the campaign is to flip the motivations of the drinker towards responsible behaviour as the creative team at Buzzman explain:

We’ve all seen that one guy blacked out in a corner at a party with drawings all over his face, the guy who ends up in fights with road signs on the street, or the guy who falls asleep at the bar... Don’t want to be that guy? Drink more... water.

The clear and universal message holds power in its simplicity and can be easily amplified with global reach through social media. And, to create as much buzz as possible, the campaign enlisted popular French DJ, record producer and songwriter, David Guetta. He is deeply connected to the nightlife scene, and influential within the campaign’s target audience, so he was the perfect personality to help promote this important message. He exclusively published the campaign film on his Facebook and Instagram feeds, where he has close to 9 million followers. Pernod Ricard also enlisted local influencers in key countries targeted by the “Drink More… Water” campaign.

This ambitious campaign reflects the new digital dimension of our Responsible Party program. By addressing young adults with codes that are specific to them, we will expand the reach of our message across many countries in an impactful way.
Alexandre Ricard
Chairman & CEO of Pernod Ricard

Gaining ground

By the end of 2021 the Drink More…Water campaign had been implemented in 25 countries, reaching more than 54 million people online and will be extended to more countries and on the ground activations in 2022.

The campaign was awarded Gold at the first Health Communication Grand Prix held by French marketing magazine Stratégies, confirming the impact of this groundbreaking prevention campaign by Buzzman and Pernod Ricard.


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About pernod ricard

Pernod Ricard is the world’s No 2 in wines and spirits with consolidated sales of €8,824 million in FY 2021. Created in 1975 by the merger of Ricard and Pernod, the Group has undergone sustained development, based on both organic growth and acquisitions: Seagram (2001), Allied Domecq (2005) and Vin&Sprit (2008).

Pernod Ricard, which owns 16 of the Top 100 Spirits Brands, holds one of the most prestigious and comprehensive brand portfolios in the industry, including: Absolut Vodka, Ricard pastis, Ballantine’s, Chivas Regal, Royal Salute, and The Glenlivet Scotch whiskies, Jameson Irish whiskey, Martell cognac, Havana Club rum, Beefeater gin, Malibu liqueur, Mumm and Perrier-Jouët champagnes, as well Jacob’s Creek, Brancott Estate, Campo Viejo, and Kenwood wines.

Pernod Ricard’s brands are distributed across 160+ markets and by its own salesforce in 73 markets. The Group’s decentralised organisation empowers its 18,500 employees to be true on-the-ground ambassadors of its vision of “Créateurs de Convivialité.” As reaffirmed by the Group’s strategic plan, “Transform and Accelerate,” deployed in 2018, Pernod Ricard’s strategy focuses on investing in long-term, profitable growth for all stakeholders.

The Group remains true to its three founding values: entrepreneurial spirit, mutual trust, and a strong sense of ethics, as illustrated by the 2030 Sustainability and Responsibility roadmap supporting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), “Good times from a good place.” In recognition of Pernod Ricard’s strong commitment to sustainable development and responsible consumption, it has received a Gold rating from Ecovadis. Pernod Ricard is also a United Nations’ Global Compact LEAD company. Pernod Ricard is listed on Euronext (Ticker: RI; ISIN Code: FR0000120693) and is part of the CAC 40 and Eurostoxx 50 indices.

Contacts Pernod Ricard

Florence Tresarrieu
Global SVP Investors Relations and Treasury
Tel: +33 (0) 1 70 93 17 03
Charly Montet
Investor Relations Manager
Tel: +33 (0) 1 70 93 17 13
Emmanuel Vouin
Head of External Engagement
Tel: +33 (0) 1 70 93 16 34