Beverage company Vitamin Well’s recent TrueView campaign gave their customers an unexpected peek into another side of the working life of football legend Zlatan Ibrahimović.



Vitamin Well was founded in Sweden in 2006, with an ambition to provide a healthier alternative to sodas, juices, and other high-sugar drinks. Their first beverages came to market in 2008, and since then, the Stockholm-based team have gone on to launch Vitamin Well in 22 countries. As a relatively young brand with global ambitions, Vitamin Well’s marketing focus is currently on building awareness with new customers and fostering loyalty in their more established Nordic markets.

Building brand awareness in new markets

In early 2016, the company embarked on a new marketing campaign, fronted by brand ambassador and Swedish football legend, Zlatan Ibrahimović. Zlatan@Work was aimed at a young audience, whose consumption of social media, and hunger for original, shareable content, makes them a valuable but highly discerning group. Taking the form of a series of hidden-camera job interviews - with unsuspecting candidates grilled by Ibrahimović himself - the videos were designed to appeal to football fans by showcasing Zlatan’s closeness to the brand.

With a highly recognisable figure fronting the campaign, and a desire to create maximum buzz and virality, the team targeted specific audiences in the first episode of Zlatan@Work, augmenting YouTube activity with a Search campaign. The videos ran on YouTube as TrueView ads, with geo-targeting and remarketing in place for engaged viewers. The goal was to reach as many fans as possible, and then encourage them to share the content within their own networks, which they duly did. “We targeted football fans since we knew that they would appreciate the content more than our normal customers, “ says Catharina Carlsdotter, Head of Marketing and Innovation at Vitamin Well. “And that’s what happened, they started to share the content and the episode went viral.”

With shareable video content, timing is everything, which made YouTube the perfect platform for Zlatan@Work. “We got great insights before the campaign,” says Catharina, “so we knew who we wanted to target and when to release the episodes. With YouTube we could release content with exactly the right timing.” Additionally, real-time data fed through as the content was being viewed and shared, allowed Vitamin Well to optimise everything from budgeting to targeting, in direct response to observed user behaviour.

Great content always scores well (like Zlatan)

The first episode of Zlatan@Work achieved over 2 million views, with total viewing time adding up to over 8 years spent with the brand. The videos scored impressively on ad recall, helping brand awareness in Sweden increase by 28%, while in France it shot up by an amazing 96%. Alongside this, Zlatan’s global popularity and the originality of the concept ensured additional coverage in newspapers in Europe, Africa and the United States.

Reflecting on the results of the campaign, Vitamin Well say they have learned a few important lessons about marketing on YouTube. “Dare to be different! Create engaging content!” says Catharina, who believes that with the right material, the right channel, and the right targeting, great things are possible. As for Vitamin Well’s future plans, the team are already thinking of new ways to engage their customers on YouTube. Summing up the experience, Catharina says: “We are super happy with YouTube as a marketing channel and will for sure create more content with YouTube in mind. The targeting options and reach we get makes it a perfect channel for us.”