Advertising Deep Dive: Hydration Beverage & Powdered Drinks Industry

Advertising
Content & Messaging
Cross-Channel
Display Ads
Facebook
Instagram
Paid Search
YouTube
January 1, 2021
Food & Beverage

Key Takeaways

Hydration Beverage Industry:

Advertising Focus — Social Ads:

  • Top Advertising Channel: Social ads, which represent 54% of total spend
  • Top Social Ad Channel: Facebook
  • Facebook targeting: Predominantly females who reside in Los Angeles, Greensboro, and New York

Advertising Leader — Drink Hint: Hint is the leader in advertising spend in the beverage category, spending a total of $5.3M between January 2020 and January 2021. Hint ramped up advertising spend in January 2021 when they launched a “36 Bottles for $36” campaign showcasing their low price value. 

Powdered Drinks  Industry:

Advertising Focus — Social Ads:

  • Top Advertising Channel: Social ads, which represent 77% of total spend
  • Top Social Ad Channel: Facebook
  • Facebook targeting: Slightly skewed towards  females who reside in Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago
    Advertising Leader— Liquid I.V: Liquid I.V. is the leader in advertising spend in the powdered drinks category, spending a total of $8M between January 2020 and January 2021. Their top campaign was the “IMMUNITY25” promo code campaign that gave users 25% off their products.

Brands analyzed in this case study:

Hydration Beverages & Powdered Drinks

Between January 2020 to January 2021, brands in the powdered drinks category have spent +21% on advertising compared to brands in the beverage category.

Hydration Beverages & Powdered Drinks - Total Ad Spend
*Spend is a directional approximation and does not include retargeting or behavioural targeting.

The beverage category has a fairly even distribution amongst the advertising channels, with social making up 54% of total spend, followed by search (32%).

Beverages Category - Social Ads Breakdown by Channel
*Spend is a directional approximation and does not include retargeting or behavioural targeting.

For Facebook ads targeting, the beverages category focuses mainly on advertising to females who reside in Los Angeles (13%), Greensboro (6.5%), and New York (5.75%).

Beverages Category - Gender Breakdown by Spend
*Spend is a directional approximation and does not include retargeting or behavioural targeting.

Aside from branded keywords (e.g., “brand name” + product), the most commonly used paid keywords are variations of “flavored water”. Top search ads focus on online delivery and free shipping promotions.

Beverages Category - Top 10 Non-Branded Paid Keywords
*Spend is a directional approximation and does not include retargeting or behavioural targeting.

Hint is the dominant brand when it comes to display ads—roughly 19% of all display ad spend comes from Hint (~$1.5M for the time period).

Beverages Category - Top 10 Display Advertising Sites by Spend
*Spend is a directional approximation and does not include retargeting or behavioural targeting.

Diving deeper into individual brands, Drink Hint is the leader in advertising spending in this category—spending a total of $5.3M between January 2020 and January 2021.

Beverages Category - Beverage Brands - Ad Spend
*Spend is a directional approximation and does not include retargeting or behavioural targeting.

In September, Hint shifted their focus from Instagram ads to Facebook and Display.

Beverage - Hint - Monthly Ad Spend
*Spend is a directional approximation and does not include retargeting or behavioural targeting.

In January 2021, Hint ramped up advertising spend, with a +191% increase in both Facebook and desktop display for their “36 Bottles for $36” campaign.

Beverage - Hint - Facebook and Display Ad Spend Increase
*Spend is a directional approximation and does not include retargeting or behavioural targeting.

Although Hint had run this campaign before, this time, Hint aggressively marketed their $1 price point, highlighting this message throughout all their creatives.

Beverage - Hint - Just $1 per bottle

Ad#1 | Ad#2 | Ad#3

During the same time, Hint re-ran several brand awareness campaigns, one featuring an article feature on today.com and one for their Alzheimer's awareness initiative.

Beverage - Hint - today.com - alz.org
today.com | alz.org

A common theme that occurs in Hint’s ads, regardless of the campaign type, is their emphasis on their product flavour range.

Ad#1 | Ad#2 | Ad#3

For the Powder category, 77% of total ad spend is being allocated towards social ads, with Facebook having the highest spend at $7.8M.

Powdered Drinks - Social and Search Ads

For Facebook ads targeting, the powdered drinks category focuses mainly on advertising in metropolitan cities such as Los Angeles (5.75%), New York (4.50%), and Chicago (3.75%).

Powdered Drinks - Facebook Ads Targeting

“Electrolytes” is the most commonly bid on search term, along with variations of “(description) + electrolytes”.

Powdered Drinks - Search Terms - Top 10 Non-Branded Paid Keywords

Display ad spending is more evenly split amongst competitors in the powdered drinks category, with food-based websites being the most popular target sites.

Powdered Drinks - Top 10 Display Advertising Sites by Spend
*non-video ad spend only

The spending leader for this category is Liquid I.V., with a total of $8M total spend between January 2020 and January 2021.

Powdered Drinks - Liquid I.V. - Ad Spend
*Spend is a directional approximation and does not include retargeting or behavioural targeting.

Liquid I.V. focuses their advertising efforts mainly on Facebook and Instagram, spending heavily on heavy customer acquisition campaigns (via deals and promotions).

Liquid I.V. - Monthly Ad Spend
*Spend is a directional approximation and does not include retargeting or behavioural targeting.

Their top Facebook campaign for this time period was their “IMMUNITY25” promotion that gave users 25% off Liquid I.V. products.

Liquid I.V. - Top Facebook Ad - IMMUNITY25
Ad#1 | Ad#2

Another notable Facebook campaign was a series of ads that called out Liquid I.V.’s product availability at Costco.

Liquid I.V. - Facebook Ad - Energy Multiplier is now available at Costco
Ad#1 | Ad#2

The brand also promoted the campaign on Instagram, but rather than using product stills, they ran a video ad that targeted a male, fitness-inclined audience.

The brand also promoted the campaign on Instagram, but rather than using product stills, they ran a video ad that targeted a male, fitness-inclined audience.
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