The agency behind the campaign is Bush Renz of Miami, which
recently started working for the brand. Ads will run online and get
paid digital support. "After researching Icelanders for only a
short time for the brand, we quickly realized that there is
something going on in Iceland. Icelanders live the longest, are
voted the happiest and safest, have the highest literacy rates,
they elected the world's first woman president, and the list goes
on. Immediately we thought, 'Wow, there must be something in the
water over there,'" Gerard Bush, the shop's chief creative
director, said in a statement.
Iceland elected Vigdís Finnbogadóttir president in
1980 when she became the first woman in the world elected as head
of state in a national election, according
to Encyclopedia Britannica.
The brand also plans to hand samples out next week outside of
the Democratic convention in Philadelphia, including to protesters.
But the brand won't discriminate -- the water will be available to
everyone, no matter what cause they are supporting. "We want to
bring the cheer. We want to bring the good feel from Iceland," Ms.
The campaign's progressive tone will be extended with other
social media messages. One planned post notes that Iceland's
Johanna Siguroardottir in 2009 became the first openly LGBT person
to head a national government. But other messages are more trivial,
like a planned post noting that Icelanders have won eight World's
Strongest Man titles.
"We are really just attempting to convey the brand's superlative
Icelandic roots," Ms. Whitaker said.
The premium water brand is sourced from Iceland's Olfus Spring,
which was "formed more than 5,000 years ago and is shielded from
pollution by an impenetrable barrier of lava rock," according to
the brand's website. The brand also touts itself as "the world's
first certified carbon neutral natural spring bottled water for
product and operation."
Icelandic's founder is Jon Olafsson, an entrepreneur who is
known as the 'Richard Branson of Iceland." He began his career
in music and films and founded media company Northern Lights
Communications, which he sold in 2003. He founded Icelandic Water
Holdings in 2004 with his son, Kristjan Olafsson. The brand came to
the U.S. in 2005. It got a boost in 2007 when Anheuser-Busch signed
on as the brand's master distributor, while taking a 20% equity
interest in Icelandic Water Holdings. In 2012 the brand
partnered with Christian Dior for the launch of Diorsnow, a
line of skin-whitening beauty products that are infused with
Icelandic Glacial water.
The bottled water brand remains relatively small: It does not
appear on a list of the top 22 bottled water brands by market share
from Euromonitor International. Premium bottled water competitor
Fiji ranked 10th with 1.9% share as of 2015, according to
Euromonitor. But Icelandic keeps growing its distribution
footprint. The brand last year announced new deals with Vons and
Pavillions stores in California and Nevada, which came on the heels
of deals with East Coast outlets including Fairway Markets and
The deals come as the bottled water category continues to surge.
Category volume grew 8% in 2015 as per capita consumption reached a
new peak of 36.5 gallons, according to Beverage Marketing Corp.
Bottled water -- which ranks as the No. 2 beverage category --
"could surpass carbonated soft drinks to take the top spot in the
very near future," Beverage
Marketing Corp stated in June.