PR > Culture & Context


PEPSI, Purchase / PEPSICO / 2022

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Why is this work relevant for PR?

Premium water LIFEWTR wanted to make unseen creators seen in US culture, so earned media had a clear role in the brief. The PR element of Life Unseen massively over-delivered on its goals, achieving 3.8 billion earned media impressions for the campaign. This meant that not only did we raise awareness of the issue of underrepresentation hugely amongst a national audience, but the visions of underrepresented artists were seen far and wide.

We leveraged the power of influencers, from other artists to our Creative Director Issa Rae, to highlight the issue and spread the work of emerging artists.


LIFEWTR has always supported emerging artists on its bottles, and knows how important this is to its audience of Gen Z Creatives and Changemakers. In 2021, the brand wanted to do something purposeful to raise awareness of and help address the issue of underrepresentation in the arts in the US.

The culture we consume in the US is not representative of the country’s diverse population - in fact, 3 out of 4 Americans are underrepresented in the creative industries. This limits all of our abilities to experience a rich and varied view of the world, and creates a perpetual cycle of injustice in which it is harder for emerging artists from underrepresented backgrounds to succeed.

As Marian Wright Edelman put it, “you can't be what you can't see”.

LIFEWTR’s challenge was - what can we do about this, that’s also authentic to our brand?

Describe the creative idea

Our idea took inspiration from Wright Edelman and the idea of “seeing”, reflected in our program name “Life Unseen” and our key visual, based on an iris.

LIFEWTR commissioned an original, unprecedented study into the extent of underrepresentation in the arts in the US which we brought to life with key stats to grab our audience’s attention. Content from underrepresented creators across art, fashion, music and film, and a moving film bringing to life the idea of what it means to be ‘seen’, raised awareness of the issue across social media.

We made our creators’ work famous by showcasing their “Life Unseen” pieces on our biggest media platform - our bottles - and working with Issa Rae as our program’s Creative Director. To have a long-term impact on underrepresented creators, we asked the public to make artists seen by nominating creators to be funded and supported by our program in

Describe the PR strategy

Leveraging the components of our creative idea, we developed a comprehensive PR strategy, supported by ancillary social and digital media efforts, to encourage widespread exposure and various touch points to drive mainstream consumer awareness and elevate LIFEWTR’s brand equity as a culturally conscious CPG brand.

We knew that our audience - Gen Z Creatives and Changemakers - care about diversity and about the arts, but they did not know the scale of the representation problem in US culture. So, in addition to the shocking results from original study with QSIDE, we enlisted the help of writer, producer and actor Issa Rae to bring the real experiences of unseen creators to light in the media. Open about her own experiences as a Black female creative, and the barriers that created, Issa’s voice provided an added level of credibility and prominence to the campaign, as well as amplifying the paid media elements.

Describe the PR execution

Life Unseen launched with the stats from our original academic study, which was published on the website alongside an interactive tool to showcase representational blind spots and systemic disparity.

The new creative work from our unseen creators appeared on LIFEWTR bottles in the largest bottle collection of its kind. We also amplified the stories and unique perspectives of the 20 creators who made work via 1:1 media interviews and social promotion.

Meanwhile on social and in earned media, Issa Rae introduced our #LifeUnseenContest, calling upon the next generation to share their concepts for a chance to receive exposure through the LIFEWTR platform, mentorship from Rae and $10,000 in funding. Rae further helped spread the word about Life Unseen via a media day, 1:1 media interviews and promotion of the initiative across her social channels.

List the results

Life Unseen achieved an enormous 3.8 billion earned impressions and 99,000 tactical impressions, and with 100% neutral to positive sentiment, it definitely struck a chord with our target audience.

The campaign received 294 earned placements, with 97.2% with LIFEWTR as the lead story / featured brand and 85.63% of coverage featuring an executive and / or spokesperson quote or profile. Titles covering Life Unseen included CNN, AP News, Essence, Nylon, WWD, AdWeek, Complex, ET Online and

Crucially, the Life Unseen program put $260k+ into the pockets of our diverse creators representing gender, racial, LGBTQIA+ and differentiated ability communities, as well as raising awareness of the persistent issue of underrepresentation in US arts and culture.

Please tell us how the brand purpose inspired the work

LIFEWTR believes creativity should flow like water, and has always championed exciting artists by giving its bottle labels over to new creative work, and often featuring new and emerging artists in its advertising campaigns.

This reflects the passions of the brand’s target audience - ‘the creative generation’ - Gen Z creatives and changemakers who value all the creative arts. But LIFEWTR wanted to understand how it could do something more purposeful in this space - what were the issues around art and culture that it could help to change for the better?

We explored a number of issues relating to the arts but representation stood out as the most unjust and pressing concern, especially amongst our audience, at this moment in time for US culture.

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