LIFEWTR by PepsiCo: Letting creativity flow

LIFEWTR by PepsiCo: Letting creativity flow

First launched by PepsiCo in early 2017, LIFEWTR seeks to promote the arts and educate about its influential role in our society. By working in collaboration with emerging artists, the premium water brand hopes to help artists rise no matter who they are or where they are from. It creatively provides them with an empty canvas - in the shape of water bottles - they can use to express themselves explicitly, and perhaps even initiate much-needed conversations about various societal disparities. The LIFEWTR brand ultimately aims to ‘let creativity flow’ by boldly pushing its clear, distinct brand positioning that ‘life needs art like it needs water’.

LIFEWTR’s Series 1, 4 and 6 respectively educate consumers on Public Art, Arts in Education and Diversity in Design.


LIFEWTR is a premium water brand; its primary commitment being advancing sources of creativity. The purified water, pH balanced with electrolytes added for taste, is launched in various series of three; each of the quarterly label redesigns focuses on unique aspects in art and placing the spotlight on rotating emerging creators. The brand was brought to life by the PepsiCo Design Team with the mission of serving as a platform that helps artists get discovered on a broad scale, not taking into account their backgrounds. The distinct expressions of creativity aim to spark creativity and inspiration in the world as they themselves gain inspiration from the world to bring their designs to life; the true definition of ‘creative flow’. In turn, the marketing efforts for the premium brand have been made not to highlight the product itself, but its unique purpose; a strategic approach which has benefited the company in resonating greatly with its target consumer – Millennials. 


Behind the scenes of Series 1: Public Art; Benjamin Roudet MOMO bringing his experimental work from outdoors to LIFEWTR’s premium water bottles.




The food-and-beverage giant approached the innovation challenge after recognising a consumption change; American consumers increasingly preferred healthier options like bottled water, moving away from purchasing soda. As core products of the likes of Pepsi started declining, it became critical for the company to pivot and respond quickly to this cultural shift. Brad Jakeman, President of the Global Beverage Group, had a unique vision – creating a premium product that responds to the need of those consumers who view bottle designs and labels as fashion accessories and as such incorporate the product into their personal image. LIFEWTR needed to create an authentic connection with the world, and it needed to rely on fashion and art to do so. 


LIFEWTR transformed select schools with artwork from local artists, driven by the belief that art should not be defunded as it plays an essential role in individuals reaching their full potential in life.


PepsiCo soon discovered that the premium water segment of the category was driven primarily by millennials; strategically the PepsiCo Design Team built a team made of young professionals who were part of the target consumer group and relied on them every step of the way – starting from understanding the aspirations of Millennials to naming, packaging concepts, and development of the brand. The brand’s distinct creative direction and clear mission, however, also hit home with culturally curious individuals who were not on the brand’s radar.


‘Art After Dark’; LIFEWTR hosted an entertainment experience for the Super Bowl in 2017, fusing technology, art and music.


The quarterly series, by the premium water brand, has built on the brand’s initial commitment of providing a platform for artists’ advancement and becoming a canvas for change; each theme highlighting current trends, and often boldly acknowledging disparities in society. The second series celebrated women in art and pushed to increase their visibility in the space. Similarly, inspired by recent events in the US, LIFEWTR is currently advocating for black artists (#BlackArtRising) across all their digital touchpoints; displaying arresting art created by selected artists in hopes of uplifting their voices, and building a lasting movement. 


LIFEWTR’s Series 5: Art Beyond Borders features three international artists; their diverse perspectives ‘celebrating the power of art to create cultural understanding and unity’.


LIFEWTR’s latest series, ‘The Art of Recycling’, was ideated with the sole purpose of engaging the public and inspiring a much-needed behavioural change. It celebrates three artists – Calder Karmin, Khalil Chishtee and Emma Balder – whose practices focus on ecologic materials, green processes and upcycling. The mission is quite straightforward and simple; inspiring their respective audiences to reimagine how they interact with the surrounding environment. This series also marks the brand’s commitment to becoming the first US premium water brand that is 100% recyclable and made out of 100% rPET by the end of this year. 




LIFEWTR is a premium water brand that offers a one-of-a-kind experience that intricately ‘combines the right mix of a clean, pure taste with eye-catching packaging and an authentic connection to consumers’. Since its inception and launch in the American market in February 2017, the brand has built tremendous momentum; its product becoming a “share-worthy” staple, generating over 40,000 followers across the brand’s social media channels, and driving trial of first-time buyers and repeat purchases. PepsiCo’s LIFEWTR is a prime example of how companies can cleverly adapt to market changes and broaden their product portfolio to offer consumers innovative products which best respond to their current needs, interests and consumption habits. As such, the premium water brand’s success has translated in impressive numbers; in its launch year alone, the brand sold over 85 million units, delivering over $150m in sales. 


‘An image that looks into the future’; Craig & Karl inspire creativity after bringing their bold style of art to LIFEWTR through thoughtful imagery.




If you need help creating a brand that pushes creative boundaries and inspires change, we’d like to offer you a complimentary strategy call with our Managing Director and Head of Strategy, Grant Davidson. Having nearly 30 years of industry experience working with groundbreaking brands, Grant has the experience and knowledge necessary to identify your core brand strategy and communicate it effectively.



Written by Grant Davidson
Grant is the founding partner and head of strategy at Davidson Branding. Over his 30 year career, Grant has developed world’s best practice knowledge and expertise through his studies at Harvard Business School and his experience working with global leading brands.
Follow Grant Davidson on LinkedIn

Related Posts