Attention grocery and convenience store retailers: you may soon find yourself having a face-to-face meeting with the celebrity rapper, actor, and fashion maven known simply as “Diddy.” In short, he wants to sell you water.
On Wednesday, Sean “Diddy” Combs and actor/producer Mark Wahlberg took the stage at a recent press conference to officially announce their involvement in enhanced water brand AQUAhydrate. While Combs and Wahlberg have had a financial interest in the company for over a year, the pair, along with CEO John Cochran, discussed how their roles with AQUAhydrate will focus less on marketing and promotion and moreso on overall business strategy and retail development of the brand.
“We’re both investors… we’re both owners,” Combs said of himself and Wahlberg. “We’re not just celebrity endorsers. We’re a part of the day-to-day business. And we plan on being involved in every [aspect] of this.”
Cochran noted that because of the experience and relationships that both Combs and Wahlberg bring to the company, as well as his own background in the water business as the former president of FIJI Water, AQUAhydrate has been an able to secure a number of wins at both the distribution and retail level.
He noted that while the company will continue to focus on building a deeper presence in New York and Los Angeles, the company’s sales force and partnerships with a number of DSD distributors will enable it to cover major markets across the U.S. Moreover, AQUAhydrate’s ability to in recent months secure retail authorizations in Safeway, Kroger and GNC is a testament to the how quickly the company can grow, Cochran said.
“Unlike other beverage companies that traditionally have started with one or two markets and built up credibility and then scaled from there, because of our past experiences and relationships, Mark, and Sean and I can, frankly, do things that other folks probably can’t,” Cochran said.
In this video, filmed on-location in Los Angeles, Wahlberg and Combs go into further detail about their positions at AQUAhydrate, and why the pair will utilize their fame to drive strategic development and, initially, eschew roles in marketing and promotion. And in lieu of upfront celebrity involvement and expensive advertising campaigns, Wahlberg and Cochran offer some specifics on how the company will approach consumer education and awareness of AQUAhydrate on a grassroots level.