Product / ServiceAQUA
CategoryG07. Corporate Purpose & Social Responsibility


Name Company Position
Mark Verhagen Wunderman Thompson Indonesia Deputy Executive Creative Director

Why is this work relevant for Media?

“Don’t See This Billboard” is AQUA's attempt to disrupt urban Indonesians who are still going out at the beginning of the pandemic lockdown. The counterintuitive yet simple message subverts the consumer's expectation of a billboard's purpose, turning it into an effective channel to serve to serve the brand's objective: reminding those who are still out and about that they should be at home, being safe, and staying hydrated.


Indonesia announced their first Covid-19 case in March 2020, and two weeks later, they begin to put some their largest cities into lockdown. Yet, after weeks downplaying the presence and danger of the virus, most Indonesians have mixed understanding of what is happening and what they should do - causing chaos and uncertainty. While bottled mineral water category is one of the first category that quickly felt the impact of the pandemic to their sales, AQUA chose not to be trapped in the rat-race of reactive marketing. Instead, it chose to serve a bigger purpose as Indonesia's heritage water brand: standing up to provide guidance and goodness to a nation that sorely needed hope in the face of such extreme uncertainties.

Describe the creative idea / insights (30% of vote)

A nation-wide crisis required help from a nation-wide brand. As the nation faced a once-in-a-century situation, confusion and uncertainty reigns a people have scattered understanding of the true risk of the situation and they had limited guidance from the authorities. AQUA realised that despite the confusion, the communal culture of Indonesians have actually equipped them with the ability to tackle the crisis: they have strong value that believe that we come together, we can tackle any difficulties that arises. This is the spirit of gotong royong, a movement from the people who came together and encourage others to do their part to help others. So AQUA build on this good value to create a bigger impact to the nation, reminding every Indonesians that they need to come together and each do their part for the good of the nation: which starts with staying at home.

Describe the strategy (20% of vote)

In Indonesia, the epicentre of the pandemic were some of its most populous provinces: Jakarta and Bali. With over 15 million citizens in both provinces combined, lax lockdown implementation and no restriction in mobility between cities, the pandemic can quickly spread across the populous Java island - and from there, the whole nation. AQUA realized that the communal and outgoing citizens of these two cities were struggling to adapt into living indoors, and they need to get significant and constant reminder that caught them whenever they are outside. Hence, we chose the largest billboards in the busiest areas in provinces and turned them into a looming reminder that will not be missed by those who passed those areas. The billboard is then spread across secondary cities in Java island as well, such as Malang and Banyuwangi, targeting especially cities with high mobility rate.

Describe the execution (20% of vote)

As AQUA wasn't really there to sell anything but to remind people to stay at home, we chose to create a copy-based creative execution that stands out from the rest of the typical outdoor ads. While many brands started to cancel their out of homes, AQUA's billboards stood out among the rest even more. Reaching exactly those caught outside, who were supposed to be at home. AQUA's "Don't See These Billboards" wasn't just getting attention of those outside, but many were taking photos of it, posting them online and reaching millions of people online. The copy-based billboards were so popular, netizens created memes and their own version of staying from home.

List the results (30% of vote)

Billboard caught the eye of Indonesians and generated > 2,000 organic posts on social media in the first week alone, reaching over 119 million people online. Some even turned the billboard into a meme, playing on its 'For the First Time Ever" copy as way for them to express their experience coping with the lockdown. The mass attention made its way to digital mass media and TV coverage, with value estimated between IDR 500-750 million, and social media reach valued at IDR 240 million. Reminding people about their power as a community also helped to increase the brand's equity to 50.7 at the end of Q2 2020, the highest level in 5 years. This sentiment was also reflected in a consumer survey done by SWA, a leading business magazine in Indonesia, that puts AQUA as the top mineral brand of choice by Indonesians during the pandemic.

Please tell us how the brand purpose inspired the work

AQUA have always believed in inspiring goodness through healthy hydration - and goodness becomes more important than ever in the face of an ongoing global pandemic. Just like a drop of water might not felt like much, AQUA realises that one might feel that their good intention might not be enough to make a difference- but when they come together, their small drops of good intentions turns into wave of goodness needed by the nation. When more people choose to stay at home, they delay the spread of the virus - the simplest form of goodness a single person can do, together.


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